|Oriol Guevara, head of INCAVI, the Catalan winegrowing official Institute, Jay Miller and Pancho Campo MW|
- A clear description, in the book or in the webpage, of the rating criteria: what is included and what not, and what weight is given to each part
Let us elaborate on these points.
This can explain some ratings that otherwise may look surprising. An example was when, some years ago, a tasting in Paris of two groups of similarly priced Rioja and Penedès reds showed a clear advantage for the Penedès wines, opposed to ratings in Spanish guides. The general explanation was that, as most Penedès reds include French grape varieties, they were closer to the gold standard of French critics involved in the tastings, while Spanish guides have the Rioja gold standard.
All this is relevant because some weeks ago the third edition of the Guide to Catalonia Wines (Guia de Vins de Catalunya) reached the bookshops.
The GCW is based on blind tasting panels and gives a lot of info for every wine rated: winery, grape varieties, method of grape harvest and winemaking details, price range, main commercial channel (supermarkets, wine shops, restaurants; there is in Catalonia limited overlap between the offerings of supermarkets and wine shops), a small picture of the bottle, suggested food pairings, and highlights of the tasting notes.