The NFTC rating system

Here at Notes From The Cellar, I review a lot of wine. It's the majority of my content.

There's a lot of controversy over how reviews should be written, especially by wine bloggers like myself, who do not work for big publications and have literally no cachet.

Here's what I do: I use the "100 point system" popularized by publicatons like Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, etc.

Does this system lend an air of specificty to reviews that probably doesn't belong there? Yeah, I think it does. But I also know it's universally understood around the wine writing (and buying) world. So I'm just going with the flow.

If you'd like to break down this system (which really has just 32 data points, from "sub-70" to "100") into fewer categories, consider using this cheat sheet:

  • sub-70: I literally don't get it. I not only don't like it, I don't know how others could, either.
  • under 80 points: I don't like it, and I'm not recommending it.
  • from 80 to 89 points: I like this, and am recommending it to you.
  • from 90 to 100 points: I love this, and I think you should go hunt it down. Go out of your way.

And if four data points (down from 32, mind you!) is still too specific for your tastes, you can think of my system in this, even simpler way:

  • below 80 points: No.
  • 80 points and above: Yes.

That's basically it. If you want something simpler than "Yes" and "No", you probably don't want to read reviews of anything, ever. Just saying.