A peek under the tent… the future of towineman

I have a theory…  I think wine ratings are somewhat misleading under the current system of evaluation.  We all trust Robert Parker and Wine Spectator if they give a wine a 91 or 92 rating and we buy said wine.  But what does that mean?  Do we actually know or care about the subjective opinions of a couple, albeit important, wine critics?  Plus what is the difference between a 92 and a 93, and why is there no 92.5?  Not to mention we now have access to thousands of wine reviews and ratings online from some of the most celebrated critics in Canada.  You can get wine reviews from Tony Aspler (http://www.tonyaspler.com/pub/home.asp) , Natalie Maclean (www.nataliemaclean.com), John Szabo (Master Sommelier, http://www.winealign.com), Gord Stimmell (Toronto Star), David Lawarson (Toronto Life) etc etc etc.  The list goes on and on.  Also note that each critic has their preferences and biases just like the rest of us.

But here is the key element.  Wine reviews very rarely take into account price.  If they do it is often glanced over or a quick comment on the side.  Of course a wine which costs $80 should be rated high.  It only makes sense.  But is the everyday consumer going to buy that wine?  I have my doubts, even if Robert Parker rated it a 94.  In my opinion a wine rated an 88 which costs $12 is likely more valuable than a wine rated a 92 which costs $50.  Call me crazy but with prices at the LCBO being all over the map we need to find value.  Plus who wouldn’t want to know about a great wine at a great price.  Everyone.

So I present a breakthrough at towineman.com.  I will be launching a wine rating scale which finally takes into account price and overall value.  A scale which, in my opinion, will present a true wine rating with all important factors taken into consideration… including price.  I happen to have to have a very good friend who is an expert in statistical modeling.  With his help we have created a revolutionary wine rating model.  The model takes what we call an industry average rating, which is an average rating across all the wine experts who have rated the wine (well the experts from a broad list which I have chosen).  It then adds a price factor to even the playing field a bit.  Therefore theoretically a well regarded wine at $10 could score better than a well regarded wine at $50.  Simple.  Plus it’s not one person’s opinion and it’s not my opinion of the wine.  It’s all the numbers from the critics summarized with price finally being considered.

So stay tuned for a whole new way of rating wines.  Now you will be able to buy wines that you can afford and are also considered excellent quality by all the trusted names in wine.  You can’t get any better advice than that.

Do you think this would be helpful to your wine buying habits? Comments and feedback on this are very much welcome and encouraged.

– Mark
Follow me on Twitter: @towineman 

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