Northwest Wine Report uses the 100-point system to rate wines. Here, this is truly a 20-point scale, using the descriptions below as a guide.

Rating Descriptions
95-100      Classic: An extraordinary wine, often from an extraordinary vintage, that is the pinnacle of quality. “A+” in terms of scholastic rating.
90-94   Excellent to Exceptional: An extremely high quality wine, ranging from excellent at the lower end to exceptional at the higher end. “A- to A” in terms of scholastic ratings.
85-89    Decent to Very Good: A quality wine, ranging from decent at the lower end to very good at the higher end. “B to B+” in terms of scholastic ratings.
80-84 Below Average: A wine that has at least one issue that detracts from its enjoyment. This is the equivalent to a “B- to C+” in terms of scholastic ratings.
< 80 Not commercially acceptable: Wines receiving scores below 80 points are deemed to be not of commercial quality. This is likely due to the presence of one or more significant flaws or a fault. Scores for such wines are not published. This is the scholastic equivalent of a “C, C-, D, or F.”


In addition to the ratings above, a subset of wines also receive certain special designations.

Special Designations Description
Critic’s Choice A wine that either represents a significant value or has some special aspect that makes it noteworthy.
Cellar Stocker A wine that is expected to significantly benefit from additional time in bottle and/or have extended aging potential.
Value Pick A wine $20 or less that provides significant quality and value compared to its peers.


a. Wine Enthusiast rating system (2013-2022)

You will see these reviews denoted as Wine Enthusiast. Wine Enthusiast also uses a 100-point rating system, from 80-100 points. All wines at Wine Enthusiast were tasted blind. You can read about Wine Enthusiast’s rating system and special designations here. Note that review text will read “See Wine Enthusiast for full review.” Wine Enthusiast ratings and reviews are freely available at

b. Washington Wine Report rating system (2004-2014)

This is a five-point rating system, which was modified to a five star system in 2012. All wines at Washington Wine Report were reviewed non-blind. Note that most reviews from April 2004 up to June 2007 were not published on this site. These reviews are also not in the database. Some can be found here.

Rating System as of 2012 Definition Rating Sytem Prior to 2012 Rough Equivalence in a 100-Point System
***** An exceptional wine. Buy it now and tell all your friends about it or keep it very secret depending on your personality and availability. ** 93-100
**** An excellent wine. Convince a friend to buy some and share it with you. * 90-92
*** A good wine.Worth drinking. If it represents a particular value, I will list it as Recommended. + 86-89
** A decent wine. Drink it if you must. . 80-85
* Not recommended or flawed wine. < 79

Updated June 2023.