Fine Wine Diary The Bailey brothers have now tasted 11844 wines in 18 years 7 months and 10 days
... search our archive of tasting notes ... read our articles on tastings and dinners

The Stars System

We rate wine on a scale of one to five red stars, with no stars meaning not really drinkable with pleasure. We use **(**), for example, for a wine that we think will be a **** wine at its peak, but is currently a ** wine to drink. We allow ourselves six stars for those occasional wines that are so out of the ordinary that one can only marvel.

We used sometimes to mark out of 100, following Robert Parker, but we feel the stars are more sensible for what are mainly drinkers notes. Here is an idea of what we mean by each rating, and how we think it might convert to a 100 point scale.

Star Rating Marks out of 100 Description
****** 100 So exciting that we are lost for words.
***** 95-99 Really excellent. The sort of quality you would hope for from First Growths in good vintages.
**** 90-94 Exceptionally good, memorable wine.
*** 87-89 A really interesting wine. The sort of wine you would want to keep tasting and thinking about.
** 84-86 A serious wine, worth paying attention to.
* 80-83 What you might expect of a basic A.C. wine from a reasonable producer.
No Stars 0-79 Not really interesting or pleasurable to drink.
Not Rated   No rating given, usually because of a faulty bottle.