I always go back and forth on wine ratings, their usefulness and whether or not I should use them here. I’ve given it a lot of thought, I’ve had lengthy email discussions with some of you, and I’ve talked it over with fellow wine bloggers.

Clearly there’s isn’t a clear consensus. Some love ratings. Some hate them. And most fall somewhere in between. When I asked my readers, many of them seemed into ratings…but not at the expense of my commentary and tasting notes. So, here’s what I’ve decided to do…

Starting with the next tasting note that I post, I will begin using the 5-star system proposed by Tim over at Winecast a while back. It includes half-stars for more granularity as well. Tim has defined the stars as:

Rating: 1 out of 5 stars Flawed, Not Recommended
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars Average
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars Very good, Recommended
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars Delicious, A Wine of Distinction
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars Outstanding, A Classic Wine

He also defines the ratings as and "overall reflection of a wine’s quality and value." There will be a slight deviation in my rating system on this point. While I will give value some mention in the tasting notes where applicable, I’m not convinced that value has any place in the rating itself. To me, a wine rating is about the wine itself, not the price.

So yes, I’m using a rating system, but it will not replace the notes that I already write. They will remain and maybe even been expanded upon as time goes on. In fact, I’m not going to make the ratings prominent at all. I may even hide them below the "Continue reading…" link so that people don’t get caught up in the rating game and ignore the tasting notes themselves.