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Personal Rating Scales


I’m going to run with my own ‘PVA’ rating:

P - Personal enjoyment
V - Value for money
A - Accessibility (ie, how much my non-wine-drinking friends might enjoy it)

Each of these rated out of five. I might just stick with it (no pun intended)




  • faulty / unpleasant
    ** drinkable but unremarkable / boring
    *** good
    **** vg
    ***** remarkable
    ****** Lafite


Have just come across this scoring system by James Flewellen. Its called QVX and is out of 10
Q (quality) is out of 4
V (Value) is out of 3
X (Excitement) is out of 3

It makes loads of sense to me, as it speaks to how I buy wine. Here are 2 articles on it:


It seems very difficult to get a good picture with just 1 score, whatever the numerical scale. I agree using 100 is a bit pointless when in reality pretty much everything scores 80-100, but that is perhaps more to do with usage rather than the scale itself.

I’m struggling with the QVX system a bit. On quality, 0 = faulty, 1 = fair. Does that mean there are no wines which are not faulty but just bad? Perhaps we are pretty much sheltered from them by our wine buyers, and they can indeed be ignored.

Then on value, 0 = I wouldn’t pay money, 1 = overpriced. I wouldn’t pay money for a faulty wine, but I wouldn’t pay £400 for a Penfolds Grange. Does that make it overpriced? I don’t know; it seems to sell well enough. Or is it just over-priced for me? Or beyond my means, which is a different thing?

Then excitement. Also tricky. A dull wine might send you to sleep, an off-wine probably wouldn’t. It might make you retch perhaps, but not sleep!

I guess I’m quibbling with the descriptors rather than the scoring itself (and post-poning an unwelcome task). Up to 10, up to 20, both seem reasonable to me. Up to 100 seems a bit unnecessary and excessive.


Seems to make sense to me.


I think any rating will be read by the audience as the reviewers opinion. So while £400 would score 0 for value for me it might be different for someone who is very wealthy. Scoring a wine isn’t about anyone else’s opinion, just the reviewer’s.


I had a much more complex system of Greek letters, numbers etc. I now work on the basis that if it is memorable I will remember it if it isn’t memorable I don’t need to.

It is somewhat more important to keep some form of aide memoir in the phase when you are learning about what you like - I fear I’m slowly approaching the unlearning stage…


Snap! It works very well.


I’ll confess to using a simple expectational system based on what the wine is and my previous experiences of similar wines. Cost inevitably plays a part…

A = exceeds expectations.
B = meets expectations.
C= failed to meet expectations
F= faulty or just plain dreadful.

As an example, Burgundy from the Cote d’Or rarely receives an A, although one would hope, as the person buying the wine, it will merit a B at the very least. Unfortunately due to their cost quite a few have received C’s in the past, but then again, my expectations are higher than they would be for a bottle of cru Beaujolais.

The bottom line essentially is that anything receiving an A is worth buying again.


If only I could remember the memorable wines…

I have a similar problem with the random bits of information now necessary to access various accounts. It only adds insult to injury when they call such things “your memorable date” or “your memorable address”, and you have to admit to someone in a call centre that you have forgotten them.

For a long time I have used a nominal 10pt scale with 1/2 pt. Seemed a natural way to go when I started. But it has suffered from grade inflation, and now I only use the top 6 values, which I now also use as stars. It is a simple measure of how much I enjoyed the wine at the time of drinking.