How to Select Wine Values by Points

I have made the point before about points,that is- points given to wines by the Wine Spectator as an example. And my point is you should definitely use points as a method to select wines, but do it wisely. Because in my humble estimation, a point is not necessarily a point.

I made this point first way back in 2015 in my blog entitled “How Much Is a Wine Point Worth.” I suggest you read it if you like saving money. In a nutshell, all you need do is divide the dollar cost of a wine by the point cost.

But now back to the article in Wine Spectator, which focused on California Pinot Noir. At the end of the article, WS provides a compendium of wine recommendations called an ‘Alphabetical Guide.” One listing caught my attention: Kirkland, which is the Costco label. I have been impressed by any wine I’ve picked up with the Kirkland label. And now I’m happy to see that 3 of their Pinot Noirs made the Guide: Carneros 2016 (88 points), Napa Valley Carneros 2017 (86 points), Russian River Valley 2017 (88 points).

The Kirkland Carneros at 88 points had the remarkably bargain price of $10. If you peruse the Guide for other wines with an 88 point rating, you’ll find, among others, the following: Iron Horse Russian River Valley 2016 Deer Gate $85; Joseph Jewell Halberg Vineyard 2015 $55; Longoria Sta. Rita Hills Fe Ciega 2016 $55; Luna Sta. Rita Hills Black Label 2016 $65; Macrostie Sonoma Coast Rodgers Creek 2016 $58; Peter Michael Santa Lucia Highlands le Moulin Rouge 2017 $110.

There were a number of 88 point rated wines in the $20/30 range but focus on that Peter Michael Pinot Noir at $110/bottle. Using my formula, each point for the Peter Michael costs you $1.25, whereas the Kirkland point sets you back a mere .11! I know some people have criticized my methodology, but I encourage all wine lovers to try a blind tasting. Take the Peter Michael and blind taste it against the Kirkland; they both received the same score from the WS. If you liked the Kirkland, you can buy almost 1 case for the price of one bottle of Peter Michael.

That’s my story and I rest my case.


Author Vin Marottoli

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