At Snob Free Wine Tasting Companion, we take the position that while you may not be a wine snob just because you drink expensive wine (it’s a matter of attitude) that enjoying wine doesn’t need to break your budget. Luckily there are folks out there who are doing homework on your behalf. One of those people, Dr. Jim, tastes and rates wines and classifies them in price categories. For budget conscious readers, we’re linking to his recommendations for $10-$20 and $20-$30 bottles.
How do you know if you’ll like what Dr. Jim likes, or anybody else’s recommendations for that matter? Well…you don’t. The fact is, taste is highly subjective. However, IF you happen to know already that you like a particular type of wine, let’s say Pinot Noir, and you haven’t settled on a particular brand yet, it’s a practical tactic to test out a Pinot Noir that someone else recommends, particularly someone who has a “developed palette” i.e. tastes a lot of wine and recognizes subtle nuances in taste, bouquet (meaning fragrance) and “texture” (meaning the feeling of weight on your tongue).
You’ll note that Dr. Jim has scores associated with his wine recommendations. Scoring wine from 50-100 is an industry standard established by Wine Spectator, the leading wine industry magazine:
Wine Spectator 100 Point Scale:
|95–100||Classic: a great wine|
|90–94||Outstanding: a wine of superior character and style|
|85–89||Very good: a wine with special qualities|
|80-84||Good: a solid, well-made wine|
|75–79||Mediocre: a drinkable wine that may have minor flaws|
When you have the benefit of testing out wines at lower price ranges, it certainly minimizes your risk. If you aren’t thrilled with the recommendation, better to have spent $18 rather than $80!