Wed 16 Nov 2016

Rating The Range: A Few Highlights


A little while ago, in response to members’ feedback, we added a star ratings option to our website.

There are many ways that people rate wines: 100 points, 20 points, 3 glasses, a thumbs up or down… each system has its pros and cons, and whilst the pleasure of a bottle of wine is intrinsically difficult to express in figures, a rating can be a great way of sharing your opinion with others.

With this in mind, we thought we’d pick just a few recent five-star ratings from Society members: in each instance the member chose to leave a written review too, giving some further context to why they felt it was deserving of a full five out of five…

Rate or review any wine on our website by clicking on the ‘Reviews’ tab on the product’s page and then on ‘Leave a review’

Biferno Rosso Riserva Palladino 2011
£7.50 – new stock coming in on 21st November

‘Quite possibly one of my favourite wines. Period. A perfect Italian balance of grapes that typically aren’t blended like this in many other places. Perfect with any type of pasta, of which my preferred is penne with broccoli, anchovies and a kick of chilli (the aglianico can really handle spice, to point of this being one of the best matches I have found for meaty Indian food – with good thick curry the acid balance really shows its stripes). Fine drinkability also mean that with just 20 minutes of airing, this is a perfect party wine too. A smooth palate and strange grapes will have your guests guessing where it’s from: attempts have ranged from Rhone to Robertson. All in all a fantastic bottle of crushed grapes.’ – Mr Christopher Cannell

The Society’s Falanghina 2015

‘More people need to know about this grape. It was new to me but now a family favourite. Difficult to compare with anything else as it has a distinctive flavour with a hint of the mustiness of southern Europe. Congratulations to the Wine Society for making this special bottling.’ – Professor Robert Moon

Dominum QP Reserva, Rioja 2008

‘I am not a wine buff so cannot tell you about depth of body or complexity of the flavours, damson notes etc. What I can say is that this is a very good Rioja that did not disappoint and I would consider it good value for money. One to add to my future orders’ – Mr Neville Clifford

Dog Point Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2015

‘The best Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc I’ve had in a long time. I know it sounds absurd but it appears to blend the traditional feel of a Sancerre with the fruity charms of the best of New Zealand. Give it half an hour in a decanter and it loses its overly taut structure and blossoms into a cracking wine.’ – Mr James Brown

Categories : Miscellaneous


  1. Fred Burt says:

    Good stuff, WineSoc. Helpful. When will you add to the mobile app?

    • Martin Brown says:

      Thanks very much for your comment – we’re really pleased you found them helpful. This was developed very much with the website as the main priority due to the much higher number of members who use it; but your feedback regarding the app is duly noted and has been passed on.
      Martin Brown
      The Wine Society

  2. JerryW says:

    I’m always interested in members’ comments, if they have tried a wine. But “star ratings” is a coarse and unhelpful way of assessing anything. I hardly know where to start explaining why your and my star ratings of Vinho Verde, of the Languedoc, of Beaumes de Venise, of Pinot Noir indeed, are likely to differ.. forgive me for not welcoming this further dumbing down

    Comments are good; star ratings, not so good

    • Marie says:

      Well, I agree star ratings are a rough and ready evaluation, and not always a lot of help unless backed up with some detail, but they aren’t the whole picture, just a signpost to wines worth having a look at and reading their reviews. Without those star ratings, I wouldn’t have looked at those wines above, but I am going to order a couple having read the comments.

  3. Hugh White says:

    I agree with JerryW. Comments are good and interesting but star ratings an irritation to me. On the whole they convey little for something as subjective and individual as wine enjoyment. I am pleased to see 5 star ratings being used,however, as people tend to go for the mid-range (I spent a lot of time before retirement trying to get exam markers to use the full range of marks!). 5 stars and 1 star may convey something but 2,3 and 4 say little.

  4. Andy Laurie says:

    Thought I might be in a minute minority in objecting to the star ratings but it seems perhaps not.
    Not much of a fan of “most helpful reviews” either. Helpful to whom? For what reason? If I’m interested in a wine I can manage to read all the reviews and decide which ones I find most helpful/interesting. “Dumbing down” is definitely the right way to describe it.

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