Respected wine critics who are well-versed in their knowledge of wine, different regions, and other nuances are the people that provide an overall scoring for a wine. Due to every critic having a different palette and preferences, the scores for one wine can vary from person to person. The universal 100-point scale is used to provide an overall scoring of a wine, where a 100 pointer is considered a perfect wine. 100 pointers are rare and, once rated, typically increase to significantly higher prices.
These wine ratings are blindly and individually conducted to prevent any preemptive bias or interference which allows for a pure rating solely based on smell and taste. An individual may score a wine as a 100 pointer, and another may score it a 98 or 99 which leaves the ultimate decision up to whoever the consumer respects more.
The 100-point system was first popularized in the 1980’s by the world renowned, Robert Parker, creator of The Wine Advocate. The purpose for the system was to simplify previous ratings that were confusing and determined by the wine makers, which had a high likelihood of bias. The rating scale is from 50-100 points and is rated based on the amount of pleasure Parker receives when tasting the wine.
Other famous critics, such as Antonio Galloni, members of Wine Spectator, and James Suckling, to name a few, are members who most people in the wine industry trust to give accurate and consistent wine ratings, along with Parker, based on their many years of experience and expertise in wine.
Due to the fickle nature of wine, the smell and taste can change over time, for better or for worse. It is entirely possible for a wine that was initially scored as a 97-99 could develop over the years, be retested, and earn that 100-point perfection score.