Does price influence a wine’s score, or does its score influence its price?

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Dear Dr. Vinny,

Do Wine Spectator reviewers know the price of a wine before they review it? Does price influence a wine’s score, or does its score influence its price?

—Arturo, New York, N.Y.

Dear Arturo,

Our tastings are single-blind, meaning our reviewers know the wine's grape variety, vintage and/or appellation, but not the identity of the wine's producer or its price. Evaluating wines blind ensures that our tasters remain impartial and that our reviews are unbiased, with all wines tasted on a level playing field.

We get the suggested U.S. retail prices directly from producers or importers when the wines are submitted for review, before they have been tasted, and that is the price indicated in Wine Spectator reviews when they are published. What happens after our scores are revealed is, of course, out of our control. Producers, distributors or retailers may raise or lower their prices at any time, for a wide variety of reasons.

—Dr. Vinny

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