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edited by Sue Courtney
e-mail address: winetaster@clear.net.nz

Wine Rating Systems and Abbreviations
by Sue Courtney
Last updated 3 Jan 2005

Rating Systems
I have no consistent method of rating wines - I follow whatever whim I feel like at the time of tasting. Therefore I could use one of the following systems.

The standard New Zealand show scoring 20-point system:
18.5 - 20.0 = gold medal standard
17.0 - 18.4 = silver medal standard
15.5 - 16.9 = bronze medal standard
< 15.5 = no award

The five star rating system.
***** = Excellent
****1/2 = Very good, just lacks the 'x' factor
**** = Quite good
***1/2 = Not too bad
*** = OK
**1/2 = Mmmm, not very good. Probably wouldn't try this wine again.
** or less = Pretty awful.

The 100-point system.
I rarely use this as I don't understand it, but occasionally I will rate a wine as 99/100 which is self explanatory, really. Obviously I think it is pretty fantastic.

The word system
Yummo = I love this wine.
Plus other words that are self descriptive, e.g.
Delicious, excellent, very good, quite good, not too bad, awful and yuk!

Abbreviations and Explanations of Terms
alc. Refers to the alcohol by volume contained in the wine
(c) cork bottle closure
(D) DIAM cork closure
FG First Glass - a retail shop that I write tasting notes for
g/L grams per litre
QPR = Quality to Price Ratio. Usually used where a wine is good value for money
malo malolactic fermentation - a process that converts the grape natural green acidity to a softer, milky (lactic) acidity.
mlf malolactic fermentation
rs or r.s. residual sugar - sugar that remains in the wine after fermentation.
(sc) screwcap bottle closure
TA Total acidity
VFM = QPR
w/e week ending

Other Terms

Sherbet / sherbert Explained nicely by Wikipedia, this is a is a kind of fizzy powder made from bicarbonate of soda, tartaric acid, sugar etc and usually cream soda or fruit flavoured. The acid-base reaction occurs upon presence of moisture (juice/saliva). It used to be stirred into various beverages to make effervescing drinks.

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