Though wine ratings and the price per bottle are usually closely connected, personal taste is ultimately the one that influences beverage selection. Under certain circumstances wine ratings are not even relevant for the average user since maybe one is actually pleased with a good wine that can be bought for a very modest price. Wine ratings are therefore not that important for the regular consumer, but they definitely mean a lot to a connoisseur or a collector. When going shopping for a good wine, you should always ask for the merchant's advice: you'll learn how to appreciate choices as well, since a good professional will recommend a brand with good wine ratings that comes for an accessible price too.
The important thing is to go beyond wine ratings as such and create your own sets of principles to judge the wine: palates are different after all. How do wine ratings appear? There is a whole system of values put into motion for labeling the products belonging to a certain wine region; the expertise is passed only after professional research and comprehensive trials of the offerings in that wine area. There are special events called “tastings” where wine ratings are given. The procedure is pretty simple and it is carried on “blind”; the experts who taste the wines are only informed on what type of wine they are about to taste and the vintage.
The reason for conducting the tastings in single-blind conditions lies in the need for impartiality. The person who gives the wine ratings mustn't be influenced by the name of the winery or the reputation of a certain wine variety. The same wine is tasted by several experts and the rating is obtained as the average of the general performance in all cases; at the end this score is the one to reflect the standard and the quality of the wine as such. Therefore, wine ratings are not passed indulgently or by any wine drinker.
Too good or too bad first impressions are usually confirmed by reopening other bottles of the same wine variety, and only afterwards wine ratings are passed. The average level under which the quality is doubtful scores seventy points. This value usually indicates that the wine is drinkable but it has certain minor flaws. True specialists who give wine ratings spend lots of time in vineyards every year becoming familiar with the flavor and the varieties of certain vintage products.