HOW TASTINGS WORK
The 100 Point Wine Scoring System and Blind versus Sighted Tastings
Michael Fridjhon's ratings, which form the heart of the database of wine quality assessments utilised by Wine Wizard, have been amended and are now based on the internationally-accepted 100-point scoring system. It is central to the website which has itself been designed to direct wine drinkers to the highest scoring wines, within a particular category, or at a given price point, and for a specified occasion. All wines are tasted blind under controlled conditions in the Wine Wizard tasting room. On rare occasions - such as the pre-sale tastings organised ahead of the annual Nederburg or Cape Winemakers Guild Auctions - the only opportunity to rate these wines is a sighted environment. This information is recorded alongside the score.
The Value Calculator
Wine Wizard also communicates the inherent value in a wine scoring, say, 86 points and selling for R45.00 by way of a value calculator which uses an algorithm exclusive to the site to cross-tabulate each wine's score with its price.
Using the Value Calculator ratings, the wine buyer can tell at a glance if a bottle represents good value for money. The prices on the value calculator are approximate retail prices and have been obtained from various sources such as the wine producer's website, as well as online and traditional retailers.
A Word of Caution
The approximate retail prices on wines are exactly what they say they are. They are off-consumption prices and obviously cannot take into account fluctuations such as wine show promotions, end-of-bin promotions and bulk purchasing arrangements.
The Tasting Note
The tasting note which accompanies each wine tells a story about the wine. It starts with the colour of the wine, then describes the aroma, then the taste. It gives you an idea of what to expect. Look for clues in the tasting note such as "Toasty" indicating wood treatment or "Peppery" which can often denote attributes of Shiraz or a high percentage of Shiraz in a blend.
Tips When Using The Wizard
Computers and search engines tend to store information relating to websites. Wine Wizard is updated every single day; therefore, your browser may be taking you to an outdated version of the Wizard. It pays to refresh every time you open the Wine Wizard and in some cases to do a Hard Refresh. This is when you clear your cache completely so that the browser has to go to the latest version of Wine Wizard.