All tastings reported in the Buying Guide are carried out blind. Typically, products are tested in groups of 5 to 8 people. samples. Reviewers may know general information about a flight to provide context (vintage, variety, or appellation), but never the production or retail price of a given selection. Where possible, products deemed defective or unusual are retested.
Ratings reflect what our editors felt about a particular product. Beyond the rating, we encourage you to read the attached tasting note to learn about the special characteristics of a product.
CLASSIC The pinnacle of quality
MAGNIFICENT A great achievement
EXCELLENT Highly recommended
VERY GOOD It is often good value for money; well recommended
GOOD Suitable for daily consumption; often good value for money
ACCEPTABLE It can be used in occasional and less critical circumstances.
Products deemed unacceptable (receiving a rating below 80 points) are not reviewed.
Best Buy—Products that offer a high level of quality in relation to price. Wines that deserve this award must obtain 86 points or more. Additionally, they are typically priced at $20 or less and are designated Best Buys after surpassing a specific value-for-money benchmark.
hidden gems-This adjective means a bottle that is fun and esoteric. They are not your typical regional finds, but they are not to be missed. Wines priced over $20 and scoring 87 points or higher are eligible.
Editor’s Pick-Products that offer excellent quality at a price higher than our Best Buy range, or a product at any price with unique qualities that deserve special attention.
Winery Selections—Products considered highly collectible and/or that require time in a temperature-controlled warehouse to reach their full potential. The Cellar Selection designation does not mean that a product must be stored to be enjoyed, but rather that storage will likely result in a more enjoyable bottle. In general, an optimal storage time will be indicated.
testing the world
We taste more than 25,000 wines a year from all over the world, covering classic regions such as Bordeaux, Burgundy, tuscany, Piedmont, napa and sonoma. We also understand that the world of wine is vast and that each region is worthy of discovery. To that end, we spare no effort in our quest to provide readers with reviews of wines from lesser-known or underrated regions of the world.
Regions covered by our tasters
ANOTHER NORTH AMERICA
SOUTH AMERICA: Jessica Vargas