Libation Library


BevMo! Be A Wine Critic Without The Whine
Posted on April 20, 2019 by in Wine

Nobody knows your palate better than you. Let’s dispel the myths and pretensions of wine.

It doesn’t take a sommelier to know that fine wine doesn’t have to be expensive, nor old, nor does it need to come from a well-known winery.

The 100-point rating scale was created by wine critic Robert Parker Jr. in 1977, and it’s been the industry standard ever since. But what makes a 90-point wine so special? Well, it’s basically equivalent to grade-A, but did you know that only varietals are eligible to be rated? In other words, a red blend, for instance, could never be a 90-pt wine. So, in a sense, the point system discourages innovation, experimentation and diversity of styles.

The fact is that ratings don’t mean everything, and there a lot of indicators to look out for including: aging, grapes, importer and region.

Signs of a Good Wine
It can be daunting with so many choices and so many styles available. If you’re just looking at the bottles, it can be tough to decide. But here are a few tricks of the trade to help you look past the pretty label and beyond the price tag. Many of the facts you need to know are actually on the back label.

  1. Know Your Appellation – Fancy wine term, but all it means is geographical name. Chances are, if you like one Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma County, you’ll probably like other Cabs and red wines from that region. And that may also translate to other styles in different regions around the globe.
  2. Pick A Winner – We carry a huge selection of award-winning and critically acclaimed wines from around the world. That includes prize winners and medal winners from the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.
  3. Shop Vintage – Do some research, and find out what years you prefer from certain regions. Climate, weather and other factors affect the quality of the harvest.
  4. Smart Sippin’ – Many premium bottles are meant to be aged. But some amazing and affordable wines can be enjoyed young. Generally speaking, white wines can be consumed within 1-2 years of bottling, and red wines can be enjoyed within 2-3 years.
  5. More To Explore – Sure, Napa Valley produces some of the world’s finest wine. But don’t get stuck in one place. Many award-winning 5¢ Wines come from our partner wineries in lesser known appellations. Sonoma is acclaimed for its Cabernet and Pinot Noir. Lodi is home to hearty Zinfandel. The Central Coast is ideal for Chardonnay and Syrah. And that’s just a few areas of California.

Come Out On Top
Many high-quality wines now come in screw tops rather than traditional corks. It’s comparable to the craft beer movement toward aluminum cans away from glass bottles. Screw tops are actually safer and more sanitary than cork bottling.

You Have Great Taste
We love to hear what you think about our 5¢ Wines. In fact, our customers help decide which new wines we introduce to our Private Collection. Shoppers are given the opportunity to taste, score and approve our latest 5¢ Wines. If a particular variety doesn’t make the cut, that bottle never appears on our shelves. That’s how you know that you’re getting the highest quality at the best value.

Our customers are the best critics, and your opinion matters. Choose from hundreds of our 5¢ Wines, and share your thoughts on Just visit the product page and leave a review.

Bottom Line
If you like it, then it’s a good wine! Embrace your taste. Sure, a sommelier would say that fish demands a white wine, but we say, pair it whatever feels right.

And don’t forget: our BevMologists are always available to answer any questions, offer recommendations, and make pairing suggestions.

Now’s Your Chance – Rate the Wine!!
You have great taste! We love to hear what you think about our 5¢ wines. Click here to upload a photo of your 5¢ wine along with a 1-5 star rating. Rate as many 5¢ wines as you like. Check back often to see the Top 10 real-time ratings of 5¢ wines that customers are rating in real-time on this article page!

By participating in the 5¢ rating program, you agree to allow BevMo! to utilize your image and rating as promotional marketing.