The FsT Rating and Pricing Systems Explained

1. FsT Rating System

In the wine industry, the use of a zero to 100 rating scale is very common, although for all practical reasons that scale only goes from 70 to 100, with a wine rated 70 being pretty mediocre.

This blog does not use the numerical 100-basis rating system, but a verbal evaluation system that is explained below. I prefer this system because I think it is easier for non-geeky readers to understand and because I think the 100-basis system has just too many minuscule nuances to clearly convey a difference between wines that are rated only one or two steps from one another.

For instance, while it may be immediately clear to everyone that a wine that is rated 95 has been considered a much better wine than one that is rated 80, things get blurrier when one needs to explain the difference between a wine rated 93 and one rated 94… Does it mean that the latter is 1% better than the former? If so, then my nose and palate must be quite uneducated because I cannot tell so tiny a quality difference between two wines. Hat’s off to those who can!

However, at the request of several readers, I have associated each of my verbal quality assessments with a 1 to 5 heart rating system. This gives more of a visual clue of my evaluations, which seems to be helpful to some, and at the same time it does not bog me down in splitting hair to identify 1% quality differences. I think it is a good compromise.

This is my grading scale explained, from top to bottom:

Spectacular – Spectacular
Outstanding – Outstanding
Very Good – Very Good
Good to Very Good – Good to Very Good
Good – Good
Fairly Good – Fairly Good
Disappointing – Disappointing
Blah! – Blah!

2. FsT Pricing System

I have indicated the average retail price in the US (in USD) for each of the wines that I have reviewed, and, based on such price, I have categorized each wine in one of the following five classes:

$$$$$ – $100 and above
$$$$ – Between $61 and $99
$$$ – Between $41 and $60
$$ – Between $21 and $40
$ – $20 and below

For wines that are not yet imported to the US, I have indicated their average retail price in EUR and categorized each of them in the appropriate class among those listed below:

€€€€€ – €100 and above
€€€€ – Between €61 and €99
€€€ – Between €41 and €60
€€ – Between €21 and €40
€ – €20 and below

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0 thoughts on “The FsT Rating and Pricing Systems Explained

  1. Dina

    A great visual system, Stefano. It’s easy to read and understand, even though I’m an amateur as far as wines are concerned. I buy my wines from two big wine merchants in Germany (Hawesko in Hamburg and Weinzeche in Essen) and it’s all up to the article, how they present the wine, rate and describe it that decides whether I’ll try something new or not. Your way of presenting your fine wines is very good!
    Big hug to you from the mild coast of Norfolk,
    Dina, Klausbernd, Siri & Selma xo

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