Introducing the QVX wine scoring system

Introducing the QVX wine scoring system

Last post I outlined some of the failings of wine scoring systems and posited an alternative system. My system scores a wine out of 10 points and every point counts. Wines are scored in three categories: Quality (out of 4); Value (out of 3); and the ‘X-factor’ (out of 3). The latter is an admittedly subjective category that reflects how much the wine excites me or how close it gets to a canonical benchmark of its regional style.

I have developed a handy visual graphic for this scoring system (the ‘QVX’ system, if you will) where the scores in the three categories are represented by bar graphs along with the nominal information of the wine, typical retail price and a couple of sentences explaining why the wine received the score it did...

Scoring Wines

Scoring Wines

Wines are a hodgepodge of numbers: the alcohol content, the volume of the bottle, the barcode number, the vintage. The price. Geekier wine producers might put on additional technical information about the wine making on their labels, such as harvest dates, bottling dates, acidity levels, residual sugar content, elevation of the vineyard. But when you come to look at buying a bottle of wine, you might also come across another number associated with the wine. Often printed on a sticker beside the wine on a shop shelf or with the reviews on a website, this number is a ‘score’ typically out of 20 or 100. It is supposed to inform us, the wine buyers, about whether we should buy this wine or not...

Restaurant review: The Anchor, Oxford

The dining room has the air of a Victorian glasshouse meeting an oversized chessboard (think Alice Though the Looking Glass) with tables daintily laid out as if for high tea. The bar resembles the waiting room of the poshest train station in the world with wooden floors, leather bench seats and oodles of space. If all the train stations I have to go through had bars like this, I would quite happily spend all my time waiting for trains...

Orange, NSW: the hottest spot in cool-climate Australia

Orange, NSW: the hottest spot in cool-climate Australia

I like a technical winery visit as much as the next wine geek, but this was something else. Peter Hedberg was up to his chest in an excavated pit in the ground of his own vineyard, Hedberg Hill, gesticulating enthusiastically at the layers of vermillion soil using the depth indicator staked to the wall to make his points. The bases of vine trunks and net-ensconced autumnal foliage framed his head, while the lateral roots of these vines poking through the quarried earth were cause for additional indications. He emerged from the earth, kicked soil off his boots and led us over to the tasting shed...

Welcome to Orange, New South Wales.

Wine bar review: Vagabond, Charlotte St, London

Wine bar review: Vagabond, Charlotte St, London

It sounds a great idea on paper: 100 distinctive wines from all around the world available not just by the glass but by the 50mL tasting sample to be sipped on comfy sofas, accompanied by a judicious selection of charcuterie and cheese. In practice, however, I found my first visit to Vagabond in Fitzrovia far from a relaxing and informative vinous experience...

Wines of Banks Peninsula

Wines of Banks Peninsula

The road begins to wind and wend its way round the volcanic spurs. The car ascends the ridge and the vague nausea of travel sickness from the bending roads abates as you meet with the view at the top. Long fingers of lava, long since cooled, extend from the summit ridgelines and inch their ways into the South Pacific, whose turquoise waters fill myriad bays below. Golden tussocks stretch along the hills, with patches of native bush enclosing pastureland for sheep. Cottages, huts and houses populate the steep inclines leading down to the waters, and yachts, dinghies and motorboats sleep in the bays. Incongruously, an enormous ocean liner is parked offshore in the centre of Akaroa Harbour.

Welcome to my new wine blog

Vines in Bordeaux.

Welcome to my blog on jamesflewellen.com. My focus for this blog will be primarily wine-related musings. These will include my thoughts on various topics in the wide and wonderful world of wine, with my customary focus on clear communication and elucidating the somewhat difficult to navigate jargon associated with much of wine tasting. This blog will be the vehicle for tasting notes on wines I have tried and reviews of wine bars & restaurants in and around London.

My first wine media project was the Oxford Wine Blog, which I set up some years ago. I will keep this site open as an archive but will produce new material on jamesflewellen.com every second Thursday. You can also follow me on twitter @JamesFlewellen and facebook. Or subscribe to a good old fashioned email notification by hitting the subscribe button on this page.