To use our Wine Ratings Search, simply enter desired search terms in the text box: winery name, wine name, vintage year in full, region, grape variety and/or vineyard name. (See our Helpful Search Tips below.) Under the Advanced Search options, you may specify how many wines to display on each search results page, and how those wines will be sorted: by score, price, vintage or winery name.
You may modify this basic search in a number of ways.
The "Search By" option determines how broadly our database will search for matches.
The "Match" option determines how strictly our database will search for matches against your "Search By" selection.
The "Use Wildcards?" option determines whether or not our database will search for complete words.
To see more advanced search criteria, click on the "Expand Advanced Search" link.
Note: All options you select using the Advanced Search section of the form are required criteria for matching wines. In other words, if you select California as your region, then 1997 as your vintage, only wines both from California AND the 1997 vintage will be returned. If you select Oregon as your region, Pinot Noir as your grape, and score 95-100, only wines that are from Oregon, made of Pinot Noir, AND scoring 95-100 points will be returned.
The search results page will show your currently selected criteria and a list of wines matching that criteria. (Note: If an older wine has been rated multiple times, the results page will display the most recent score and tasting note. Click the wine name to view prior reviews.) You can change the sort order at any time by clicking on the column headers or buttons for "Wine," "Vintage," "Score" or "Release Price," which appear just above the results.
To change your search criteria, you can edit the terms in the text-entry box, or clear all of the text entries, while retaining your Advanced Search selections, by tapping the "x" in the box. To access your Advanced Search choices, select the "Advanced Search Options" and then change your selections in the desired menus. When you have made all your changes, select "Search." If you want to clear all selected criteria and start over, select "New Wine Search."
To see additional information for every wine listed, including tasting note, country/region and issue date, select "See All Tasting Notes." You may switch back to simple list view at any time by clicking on "Hide All Tasting Notes." To see additional information for only one wine in a list, select "See Tasting Note" below the individual winery name. Click/tap it again to hide that note.
You may add wines to your Personal Wine List (what's this?) by checking the "Select" box beside each desired wine, then going to "Add Checked Wines to my Personal Wine List" at the bottom of the page and selecting your desired PWL in the pulldown menu. (If you have not yet created customized PWLs, simply save to the Default PWL.) You must click on "Add" for each page; you cannot make selections on multiple pages and add them all at once.
To view even more detailed information about each wine—including related wine searches, related articles, additional tasting notes, auction prices for any collectibles currently on the market, and other users' tasting notes from their PWLs—simply click on the wine's name. You will be taken to that wine's detail page. From there, use the links beneath the tasting note to access detailed information for this specific wine. You may also add a wine to your Personal Wine List or print a single shelf talker (listing the wine, score and tasting note) from the detail page.
Enter the full vintage year: Do not abbreviate vintage years when typing them in as search terms. If you enter 99 or '05, for example, it will not find a match against the full vintage years in our database, or it will match incorrectly against numbers found in the full wine names or tasting notes.
Choose your search terms based on how different wines are labeled: Remember that New World wines (California, Oregon, Chile, Australia, etc.) typically list the grape variety they're made from on the label. Therefore, you can enter search terms such as "Chardonnay" and "Napa" and get a comprehensive list of results.
However, many wines from Old World countries (France, Italy, Spain, etc.) are labeled primarily by their region or appellation of origin and don't always list the grape variety. Therefore, entering the search terms "Cabernet Sauvignon" and "Bordeaux," for example, will turn up only a partial list of results (for wines that may have Cabernet in their full name or in the tasting note), even though many Bordeaux red wines are made primarily from Cabernet, blended with other varieties. In this case you would need to type "Bordeaux" or select it in the Region pulldown menu and select "All Red Wines" from the wine type pulldown menu, along with any score, vintage or price criteria you may want.
Many New World wines are also blends of multiple grapes and may carry proprietary names rather than listing the varieties, such as Opus One or Joseph Phelps Insignia. In many cases, you can find blends by selecting the wine region and the dominant grape in the blend. In addition, many U.S. wineries use the term "Meritage" on their labels to indicate red or whites using the traditional blend of Bordeaux grapes, and "Meritage" can be used as a search term.
Scores: All scores are given on the Wine Spectator 100-point scale: 95-100, classic; 90-94, outstanding; 85-89, very good; 80-84, good; 75-79, mediocre; 50-74, not recommended. A score given as a range, rather than a single number, indicates a preliminary score; usually that wine was tasted from barrel and was therefore reviewed based on its anticipated quality when bottled. As of March 2008, we have switched to rolling four-point spreads for unfinished wines to better reflect the subtle differences between wines. For example, one wine may be scored 85-88, another 87-90, another 89-92.
Issue dates: Reviews listed with a date that does not correspond to an actual issue of Wine Spectator magazine either have appeared in advance of the magazine, in our Insider newsletter or online Tasting Highlights, or were not published in the Buying Guide due to space constraints or the vagaries of publication deadlines. They are official reviews.
Update schedule: Tasting notes from any given issue—including all wines featured in our Daily Wine Picks and our Advance newsletter—are added to the online database once the issue has mailed to subscribers. The wines reviewed in Insider, our weekly newsletter that highlights the most exciting wines from our latest tastings, or our Tasting Highlights, are added to the database roughly every two to three weeks. Many of these will appear in the magazine and will then subsequently be updated with the issue date.