Using Wine Scores to Buy with Confidence

By: Dara Vandor

Our final auction of 2020 features a remarkable number of 100-point wines.

Lot 55 – CHÂTEAU PAVIE 2005, Saint-Émilion, Premier Grand Cru Classé, August 2015 WA 100, Estimate: $2,500 – $3,000

The current gold standard for wine rating is critic Robert Parker’s 100-point scale, which he implemented in the 1980s.

Parker’s goal was to demystify wines for the average consumer who might be overwhelmed by the surplus of options. Today, Parker’s ratings carry an enormous amount of weight: a wine with a score over 95 practically sells itself. The cachet is so great that some winemakers and wine buyers intentionally cater to Parker’s (or other critics) specific rubric and preferences, a phenomenon known in the industry as “Parkerization.”

Wine scores are especially useful when buying at auction. Auctions present a tremendous opportunity to try elusive, expensive and/or rare bottles and wine scores help to paint a picture of what you are buying before you place a bid. Knowing that industry experts have given their tasting notes to a particular vintage allows buyers to drink, or cellar, with confidence. Bottles with a 95+ rating are, according to Parker, “extraordinary wines of profound and complex character,” a distinction that only 3-7% of those tasted are able to achieve.

Parker notes that a highly rated bottle will not guarantee personal enjoyment and urges buyers to pay attention to a wine’s tasting notes in addition to its scores. When browsing our catalogue, note that we often include Parker’s score (often abbreviated as WA, the initials of his influential publication, Wine Advocate), as well as scores by Wine Spectator (WS) and James Suckling (JS). As an additional aid, the critics’ notations regarding the best time to drink a specific wine are also included.

Our final Fine Wine auction of 2020 features a remarkable number of 100-point wines. We are pleased to offer a wonderful selection of the very best bottles in the world and hope that you will get the chance to cellar or sample some of the finest wines available today.

Browse 100-Point Wines


We invite you to peruse both our Fine Wine auction and our Fine Spirits auction. Both auctions are offered online from November 23 – December 1.

We are always delighted to answer any questions you may have about current offerings, buying at auction, building a collection, or consigning wine and spirits.

Please contact Joann Maplesden at 416-847-6182 / [email protected] or
Devin Hatfield at 416-847-6181 / [email protected]

Related News

Start Collecting

Everything you need to know to get you started bidding in our auctions at Waddington’s.

Learn More

How to Sell

Find out why selecting Waddington’s is the right choice for consigning your works of art, wine or specialty items.

Learn More

Become a Member

Sign up for your Waddington’s account to start bidding, manage your invoices, and track items you're interested in.

Sign Up