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Ken's Wine Rating System

KensWineGuide.com Wine Rating System

Our goal is to ensure that you get the perfect bottle of wine for your money. We believe our rating system gets you closer to ultimate satisfaction by helping you find the perfect bottle of wine.

There are 2 components to Ken's Rating System.

Part #1:
The first rating component is the actual score that Ken or his tasting panel gives a wine. Not all wines in the Guide are reviewed by Ken or the tasting panel. But if they are, our score is included in the calculation of the weighted average. Score descriptions and ranges are listed below.

  • Unbelievable/Fantastic: (98-100) Perfect or just about. These wines are the best of the best. There is nothing else to say!

  • Excellent: (97-94) These wines blow you away. Their flavors make you yearn for more and last forever in your mouth. Excellent wines make an impression that I will not forget; these are the wines you brag about.

  • Very Good+: (93-90) These wines have all the qualities of a Very Good wine and more, but remain just shy of Excellent. I would recommend a Very Good+ wine to impress someone, but not blow them away.

  • Very Good: (89-87) These are wines that I would recommend for everyday drinking. They have character and are well balanced. Very Good wines have good structure and are distinctive. These wines are well made and worth your investment.

  • Good: (86-84) These wines are drinkable by my standards. That means the wines are "O.K." "Good" wines typically do not make the Wine Guide. They are ordinary, non distinctive, and drinkable if you have no other choices.

Part 2:
For the second component we add a bonus value to the average score that is based upon the number of professional scores and recommendations that a wine gets. For years, and certainly since the beginning of the Wine Guide, we have professed that if a wine gets multiple scores in the high 80's and low 90's, it is probably better than a wine that receives a single high score.

For example, if a wine scores a single score of 90 from one professional and another wine scores 91, 90, 89, & 87 from four professionals, we are willing to bet that the second wine is better and more appealing to the masses. As a result, it will carry a higher score in the KensWineGuide.com system. This wine is clearly less risky.

Sources of Professional Scores (We highly recommend a subscription to each.)

  • Connoisseurs' Guide to CA Wine
  • International Wine Cellar (Stephen Tanzer)
  • Ken & Ken's Wine Guide Tasting Panel (Reviews posted in the Wine Guide)
  • Wine Advocate (Robert Parker)
  • Wine Enthusiast
  • Wine & Spirits
  • Wine Spectator

More about Ken & Ken's Wine Guide Tasting Panel:

Wine Reviewed by Ken
Wines that are reviewed by Ken personally. These are wines that have drawn Ken's interest due to other professional ratings or recommendations from others, or they are wines submitted by wineries who wish to be reviewed. These wines are not tasted blind. These reviews end with "Enjoy - Ken".

Wines that are reviewed are not necessarily listed in the Wine Guide. If a wine gets a score lower than Very Good, it is generally considered "not" recommended and is, therefore, not listed in the Wine Guide.

Wine Reviewed by our Guest Writers
Wines that are reviewed by our guest writers. All guest writers are wine professionals whose reviews have been discussed with Ken. Wines reviewed by guest writers are wines that have drawn the writer's interest due to other professional ratings or recommendations from others, or they are wines submitted from wholesalers or wineries wishing to be reviewed, or guest writers have tried the wine and thought it worthy of a review and some praise. These wines are not tasted blind. These reviews end with "Enjoy - guest writers name".

Wine Reviewed by KensWineGuide.com Tasting Panel
Wines tasted by a panel of 6-10 tasters that meets once or twice per month. These wines are tasted blind. There is usually a theme to the monthly tastings (i.e. Pinot Noir from the USA, with more than 500 cases, from $20 to $50 retail). The top and bottom scores from these tastings are eliminated. The remaining scores are averaged for the final Tasting Panel score. The review for the Wine Guide is written by Ken using the consolidated notes from the panel. These reviews end with "Enjoy - KWGTP".

Wines that are reviewed are not necessarily listed in the Wine Guide. If a wine gets a score lower than Very Good, it is generally considered "not" recommended and is, therefore, not listed in the Wine Guide.





Biodynamics as applied to wine; advocates organic viticulture, avoids pesticides, and combats insects with plants.

Source: What Do You Know About Wine Calendar - Richard Nidel

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