Behind the Wine

We heard you! An update about your wine ratings

You’ve given us millions of wine ratings – and a mountain of feedback on how we can make those ratings more useful (to wine drinkers AND winemakers).

We took two big things into account:

  1. A wine can change year to year based on the growing conditions of the vintage
  2. When you are looking at scores to decide which Cabernet to choose, it’s not very helpful to show you ratings from people who don’t drink red wine.

Showing the ratings for a specific vintage

Because wine is a natural product and changes year to year, we frequently see wines perform very differently from one vintage to the next. But despite that, we used to average our wine ratings, regardless of changes that year.

webstore screen grab from with wine ratings by vintage

The result would be a wine that had a 90% rating for its current vintage but showed a rating in the 80’s because it was averaging past vintages into the score. This was frustrating for customers because it hid relevant information. And it’s not great for the winemakers who use your feedback to help inform important winemaking decisions. So we’re making the default view specific to the vintage that you’re looking at.

Here’s a good example… David Akiyoshi’s Lodi Chard had a 75% rating in its first vintage (the 2012). His current vintage has a stunning 88% rating. But we currently display it as a 79%.

And sometimes it goes the other way! Daryl Groom’s Barossa Shiraz is a very reliable wine that’s almost always rated 90%, but the 2016 is currently at 86% and we want customers to know that.

Distinguishing between customers who specifically chose a wine and customers who picked a curated pack

If you buy a mystery case or some other curated pack, your wine rating is measured differently than if you specifically chose to buy a bottle.

Another frequent topic of conversation with our winemakers is that we have two kinds of customers. The longer a person sticks around, the more likely they are to build a custom case of their favorite wines. But most of our newest customers actually grab one of the cases we curate for newbies. That’s why we get comments like this one:

This tends to happen because a customer orders a curated case that includes a wine style they don’t love. When that happens, we will track the rating as a “Pre-mixed case rating” which we use in some of our internal reports, but it will be excluded from the “Buy it again” rating that you see on the product (whether the rating is positive or negative!)


Always improving

Winemakers really love getting direct feedback from wine drinkers like you, and Angels love looking at ratings before they try a new wine. So we’re always trying to improve on how we use ratings and reviews on the site. We’d love to hear your feedback in the comments!

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