As we’ve been developing WinePeer, I’ve been trolling the web looking at all of the different wine rating score cards used by amateur wine drinkers, wine critiques and various wine technologies. I’ve come to the conclusion that there is no definitive best way to rate a wine because our sense of taste (and smell) is so poorly developed. Most people have a somewhat limited vocabulary when it comes to taste – sweet, sour, bitter, salty and perhaps a few more adjectives. And taste is very subjective, so there is no standard to abide by.
Many wine websites and wine social networks use the old “five star” rating system. This is OK and certainly works for products like movies and books – Netflix and Amazon are proof enough of that. But both movies and books are experienced as an individual. Sure, you can be sitting in a movie theatre with your friends looking at the same screen and hearing the same soundtrack, but when it comes down to it, you’re still experiencing it alone.
Unlike movies and books, wine is most often consumed in a social setting. It is experienced actively with conversation, comments and interaction. I can’t imagine watching 2 minutes of a movie, pausing it and then commenting on the plot, special effects, cinematography, etc. But funny enough, that is exactly what we do with wine. We pour a few glasses for our friends. We look at together and comment. We smell it together and comment. We sip together and comment. We savour the aftertaste together and comment. In group settings, this is quite enjoyable as we discover the different opinions and tastes of our fellow wine tasters.
WinePeer is working on a wine score card and application that takes this social interaction into consideration and creates a new way for users to interact with their wines and their friends. We’re still ironing out the bugs to the wine score card used in the application…but we’ve got a paper version that we’ve been using with much success.
Now be forewarned, unlike some of the more complicated wine score cards out there, we wanted ours to have the following attributes:
- Vernacular: users do not need to know any wine vernacular to be able to use the wine score card.
- Fast: We want any rating to take under 60 sec to complete (preferably under 30 sec) .
- Dimensions: We want the rating system to have more than just “five stars” so that each user’s true taste in wine can be derived.
So, if you’re planning to host a wine tasting party or wine tasting event, the following wine rating score card can be used to quickly capture your guest’s ratings. You can tabulate the results at the end by simply adding up the numbers for each wine to see which one had the highest score. You can also use this to compare how similar two people’s taste in wine is…stay tuned to the upcoming release of WinePeer if you don’t want to attempt the math on that one.