How do I write a good wine review?
Writing reviews for wines you have tasted can really help other members to decide what to buy or to try for the first time, so it’s a great way to contribute to The Society’s community of wine lovers. Just bear in mind that wine, in contrast to many other products that are reviewed online, is a matter of deeply personal taste, and that it’s therefore important to judge a wine on its quality and value, as opposed to purely on your personal taste.
Below are some golden rules for writing a review helpful to other members, whether it’s positive or negative. We hope you find them useful.
- Remember, wine is subjective. Wine preferences vary enormously, and long may that continue, so make your review less personal and more analytical. For example, did it match the Wine Society tasting note? If you’ve tried other wines from this region or grape, is it a good example of its type?
- Consider value. Do you think that the wine you are reviewing performs well at the price you paid for it? A £6 wine deserves a little more generosity than a £50 wine for example. How much complexity, flavour, length and balance do you feel the wine offers at its price point?
- Think about what you might find useful in another member’s review and try to incorporate it in your own. A little elaboration on your impressions, rather than short, unqualified reviews like ‘I loved this’ or ‘This wasn’t good’ will help other members to make more informed decisions.
- Avoid points systems. Points mean different things to different people. That’s why we’ve opted for a simple five-star system, which creates a level playing field and enables us to aggregate the scores for a clear overall picture.
- Align your stars with your comments. The appeal of plumping for a safe and solid three-star rating throughout is understandable, but not particularly helpful. If you’re enthused by a wine that’s especially well made, delivers a great drinking experience and offers superb value, it surely deserves five stars. By the same token, if you find it overpriced, unbalanced or devoid of personality, don’t be afraid to give it one star.
- Don’t review a faulty bottle. Faults such as bad corks or oxidation can occasionally affect even the grandest of bottles, and the rest of the batch shouldn’t be judged accordingly. Instead, tell Member Services about it right away, so that they can arrange a replacement, because we want you to get maximum pleasure from every bottle of wine you buy from The Society.
- Have fun doing it! We love feedback from our members and wine reviews are no exception. Don’t worry if you’ve never reviewed wine before, because there is no right or wrong way to convey your impressions. Describing taste in absolute terms is challenging, so consider what your nose and palate are telling you, try to identify what it reminds you of (it’s rarely grapes, we find!) and keep it simple. Your comments will be more likely to resonate with other members, so enjoy sharing them. And if you’ve had a dish that you particularly enjoyed with the wine, we’d all love to know about that too!
Did you find this helpful?