Wine Writers & Review Ratings

“In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and themselves to our judgment…”
Anton Ego, Ratatouille (2007)

As the interest and consumption of wine in the UK continues to grow, so too does the number of discerning drinkers looking to expand their knowledge and gain greater insight into their wine choices, whether it be for immediate drinking or as a financial investment.

Consequently, an entire industry of wine critics, writers and journalists have come to their aid, each with their own newspaper column, trade publication, magazine or website that provide regular tasting notes and wine scores. A number of these critics have become extremely influential and hold a great deal of power, with many consumers using the advice given as whether or not to buy a particular wine or vintage. The ratings they give can have an observable effect on the success and popularity of a wine and in particular the market price of fine wines.

Wine experts use one of three rating systems to judge the quality of wines.

1. The 100 point scoring system is the most popular rating system with US and Southern Hemisphere wine experts including amongst others: The Wine Advocate, Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, James Suckling, Allen Meadows and James Halliday.

2. The 20 point system is popular with UK wine experts and is used in particular by Jancis Robinson amongst others.

3. The 5 star system is popular with Decanter Magazine, John Platter and common in various other publications and wine shows.

The Circle of Wine Writers is the world's leading international association of authors, writers, journalists, bloggers, broadcasters, photographers and lecturers, communicating about wines and spirits and a handy starting point for anyone looking to explore further.

We’ve highlighted below some of the most popular critics and wine writers from across the globe whose websites are informative, insightful and updated regularly. Many wineries and merchants often refer to these individuals in their marketing material, particularly if the reviews and ratings are favourable! Most offer free content to their visitors but often the best content is reserved for subscribers taking out a paid subscription.