Wine Spectator Top 100 Rankings
Since 1988, the Wine Spectator Top 100 has published a list honoring the top wines over the previous 12 months. The most successful wineries, regions, and vintages from around the world are ranked based on quality, value, availability, and excitement.
History of Wine Spectator Mag
Wine Spectator magazine is a monthly publication focused on wine culture. Bob Morrisey started the newspaper in 1976 in San Diego. Three years later, the paper was sold to its current editor and publisher, Marvin Shanken. The first year after Shanken purchased the paper, a panel of experts blind-tasted and reviewed more than 12,400 wines and published their results.
A few years later, the paper began it’s Restaurant Awards program. Meaning, the program reviewed the quality of restaurant wine lists based on three scoring levels. The Luxury Institute ranked Wine Spectator magazine the #1 business and consumer publication for wealthy readers in 2008.
How Wine Spectator Picks the Top 100
Beginning with roughly 5,000 different wines, the task of narrowing down the Top 100 wines in the world each year is not easy. Very high priced wines and low production wines are eliminated from consideration of the Top 100 list. Each wine will be tasted by a blind test, which means a bag is placed over the bottle to conceal the name. Testers don’t know the sales price or the identity of the wine they are tasting.
After taste-testing is complete, the bags are removed, and the identities are revealed. Next, Wine Spectator researches the favorite wines from the tasting to discover the backstories. Producer backstories and information on the domains and regions are gathered. Wines are ranked favorably if they present a great value to consumers.
Wine Spectator Top 100 Over the Years
The wine industry has changed dramatically over the last 30 years since the first Top 100 list was published in 1988.