How Wines Get their Stars
Wines, like hotels, tend to get rated. And they get rated with stars. How do you know what a 5 or 6-star wine stands for? Now unlike hotels, wines do not necessarily have to be rated by an expert. They can be rated by anyone. All it takes is for a person to have enough of an exposure as well as an understanding of how wine is made, what goes into the making of wine and how it should be rated. Wine is rated on four parameters – the aroma, the taste, the appearance and the aftertaste. Let’s take a look at how wines get their stars!
The ultimate rating is 6 stars. A 6-star wine is said to be absolutely perfect. There’s nothing that is missing from it and nothing that needs to be removed from it. This rating means the wine just cannot be improved in any way. The number of wines that fall into this category globally is less than 1% of the wine produced all over the world. This wine is really a classic and it has all the complex characteristics that a classic wine is expected to have. You won’t find a wine like this online – no way. These are usually tagged as collectors’ items.
Wines that are rated as 5-star wines have a balanced color, richness and harmony. They are almost perfect and have a wonderful aroma, taste and feel. Their organoleptic characteristics are quite extraordinary. Then come the 4-star wines which constitute 5% of the wines produced all over the world. These, too have finesse, flavor and great character and you can’t really find fault with them or perceive any noticeable flaws. These are the wines that are commonly produced today and their rating goes up if they are allowed to age.
Then come the average wines or the wines that are 3-star rated. These are well made but the ingredients they are made from are ordinary. However, they do have great taste and texture and you cannot really find any noticeable flaws. Except for the fact that the raw materials used are ordinary, you cannot really distinguish them from 4-star wines.
Any wine with less than a 3-star rating is below par. You will usually find flaws in them that may even be noticeable and visible to the eye. There could be an unpleasant smell, it could be a watery substance or there could even be floating particles. This could of course be due to the extra acid or tannin present. Sometimes these wines might taste okay but you will find that they do not have any character, depth or complexity. And of course, 1-star wines are made from really poor ingredients. They are generally home-made wines that might not make it to the shop shelves. They are usually not well balanced, very diluted, have a dull taste and are flawed.
How is wine tasting and rating done? It is usually done in groups that are large. The wines are not labeled and the group has to rate them without knowing the cost or the brand. These ratings are then collected and compiled. It is a comprehensive analysis of these that are the basis of rating and determining which class a wine should be classified as. These ratings and classification help as far as the buyers are concerned because it helps them to choose a good wine. You know which the best wine available in the market is and you know what the stars stand for. How many people use these as guidelines when choosing a wine? Well many of these cannot be strictly followed and finally, it’s the buyer who has to take a call on which wine he wants.
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