One wine is rated a 90, the other, 89. Is the 90-point wine really one point better? And really, how does one ascertain that one-point difference?

If you’ve ever wondered why scores are attached to wines, what they mean, why they exist, and whether the numbers can truly help you decide to buy a wine you’ve never tried before, then this is the podcast episode for you.

Our guest — William R. “Tish” Tisherman — was the founding editor of Wine Enthusiast magazine. He was the person who implemented the publishing of scores next to wines in Wine Enthusiast, over 30 years ago. Following his tenure there, Tish founded Palate Press, which was a groundbreaking online wine magazine that included, among other content — you guessed it — wine ratings. After getting that project off the ground, he served for a decade as managing editor of Beverage Media, one of the leading wine industry publications in the US. With all that experience, Tish has a really good handle on the concept of attaching scores to wines — though he insists he’s a “recovering wine critic.”

In this enlightening conversation, we explore:

– the origin of the 100-point system
– how and why wine ratings became so important
– the effect wine ratings had on winemaking
– why scores from one publication (or person) differ from another
– what the wine industry does with wine ratings
– how ratings (or a critic) can help you choose a wine
– why you may want to completely ignore wine ratings altogether (and if you do, what to do instead to discover a new wine)

Did you know that wine scores from one specific person became so important to the wine industry, that many wineries changed the flavor and style of their wines to please that one person’s palate? Find out who that was, why that happened, and so much more “inside info” regarding wine ratings by listening to this episode.

And if you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe to The Inside Wine Podcast — it’s available via the Wine 365 app (iPhone | Android) and wherever you listen to podcasts:
iPhone/Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher
Overcast | iHeartRadio | Audible

Listen to the episode in your browser here:

For more about Tish, visit his website WineForAll, follow him on Instagram @tishwine and on Twitter @tishwine.


Founder of popular wine blogs Wine Dictator and Wine Weekly and host of Inside Wine Podcast, Joe's career in the wine industry spans four decades. He is a Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) and holds Level 2 certification from the Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET).

Write A Comment

Pin It