Scoring Methodology & Sample Submission Guidelines

Wine deserves a fair, honest tasting process.

First, I don’t write a tasting note or score the wine until I believe it’s fully opened. I’ll decant and/or aerate a wine if needed.

Second, the price of the wine is a factor in my reviewing because cost is a data point customers use to estimate quality – that’s what the industry, at least, wants us to believe. For example, it’s unfair to expect a budget wine to offer secondary flavors, so when it does I reward it; when an expensive wine fails to offer secondary flavors, it I punish it.

Third, although wine is often improved by proper food pairings, all wines are tasted alone unless otherwise noticed so that a good or bad pairing, a variable not controlled by the winery, does not alter my experience with the wine.

Forth, all wines are purchased unless otherwise noted.

Fifth, all wines are tasted sighted unless otherwise noted.

As for the scoring process that I will use for wines reviewed for Good Vitis, I offer both a point score and a value score. I score the wines using the 100-point scale, which is the most commonly used metric despite its admitted faults. Wines falling in the 98-100 range are otherworldly. 95-97 is exceptional. The 92-94 range is outstanding. 89-91 is very good, with 86-88 being good. 83-85 is acceptable, 80-82 disappointing, and anything scored at 79 or lower is either flawed or poorly made. In addition, I give a value rating of A through F. This reflects how I perceive the wine based on comparing its quality to its price in the global market.

Finally, at most I hope you use my reviews as a reference point. Wine is subjective and every person’s taste buds and mental associations are different. I hope I can inspire people to try certain wines, but it’s important to offer this disclosure: don’t substitute my tastes for yours.

Sample submission guidelines:

Samples are accepted. If you would like to send them, please email me at menenbergaaron(at)gmail(dot)com. My conditions and promises:

  1. I will endeavor to publish review of each sample I receive, though I cannot promise it.
  2. Wines will be tasted single-blind and scored based on the methodology described above.
  3. In order to avoid heat/cold damage, only samples received between mid-September and mid-December, and between March and May, will qualify for a Good Vitis review. If you must send samples outside these windows, please contact me ahead of shipping.
  4. I will store samples in a temperature and humidity controlled cellar for no less than two weeks prior to tasting; pending space, I will attempt to allow shipped wine to settle for a full month.
  5. I will indicate to readers that trade samples are just that, and review them based on their merits.