Four years ago, I wrote an article on wine ratings called “Are Wine Ratings Overrated?” In the article, I talked about the many problems associated with wine scoring (judge fatigue, different tastes and more), and I urged people to trust and honor what they like and not worry about what other people like.
I just read an interesting 2011 article by Gregory Dal Piaz, Editor in Chief of Snooth Media and owner of Vino Vinace Consulting, where he proposes a new wine scoring approach that he calls the Bevebelita Score. Bevebelita is the way you say drinkability in Italian. Dal Piaz argues that drinkability is critical.
According to Dal Piaz, “Bevebilita has certain almost universal qualities to it, and a Bv score — or Bevebilita Variable — used in conjunction with a more traditional score, can help to inform a reader far more than either score alone.”
Dal Piaz says he’ll score wine by using the two scores to form an amalgamate score for his reviews. He says that he will continue to use the traditional 100-point scale, but will also average in his Bv score, “which is itself going to be an average of two qualities important to drinkability: the drinkability itself, which boils down to balance, freshness, and, well, ease of drinking; and the ease with which the wine can be paired with food.”
In his article, Dal Piaz gives two examples to show the impact of his approach. One of the examples is an impressive young Cabernet that might get 92 points using the traditional scale but only gets 76 points with the addition of the Bv. He talks about scoring that same wine a few years later, when the wine is more drinkable. The higher Bv would bring the amalgamated score closer to the 92 points.
While I like the concept, it sounds a bit complicated. I was surprised by how many responses the article got. Most people liked the idea of incorporating drinkability into wine scoring but hated the concept of a blended score. That said that a separate Bv score would be more meaningful and certainly easier to understand.
When I Google Bevebelita, I find very few results for it. So it looks like Dal Piaz’s scoring methodology didn’t take off. But I applaud him for his attempt.
I’d like to end by sharing my favorite response to his article:
A sommelier taught me a great simple scale:
- 1 point – I’ll be polite and finish the glass
- 2 points – I’ll finish the bottle but probably won’t buy it
- 3 points – I’ll buy it by the bottle
- 4 points – I’ll buy a case
Cheers to simplicity!