Ranking mixed red and white wines

I’m interested in peoples’ opinions about ranking white and red wines together. This arises out of a recent tasting of a selection of wines from a recent releases of a certain retailer. It included one sparkler, 2 whites and seven reds. Our usual tastings are more conventionally focused. Participants normally rank the wines (up to them how they score or otherwise do that), and we crudely aggregate the rankings to get a group ranking. Clearly a process that should not be overthought, however …

Some people expressed concern at the idea of ranking white against red wines. Put that way it does sound odd. On the other hand, if the wines are all being scored objectively (!) then a ranking automatically follows. Another way to look at it is - which wine am I most likely to buy (ignoring price)? That’s is number one, and so on. Is it really any odder than ranking, say, Cali Pinot against Burgundy? [stirthepothal.gif]


For myself Richard? If I’m at a tasting or dinner that’s doing this, the colour of the wine will rarely matter for ranking purposes. I don’t tend to differentiate between reds and whites when going through that exercise. I do sometimes personally rate wines within the geographic area that they are made—so e.g. when I go into Niagara, I am usually in “Ontario wine comparator” mode, rather than trying to compare the tasted wines to Burgs, Bordeaux or Calis.

Does that help?

I don’t think so. I also don’t tend to rank wines at a tasting, but I will choose one or two favorites, often from a very diverse group of wines. If you taste Boillot Corton-Charlemagne and then yellowtail Shiraz, you’d probably be pretty comfortable saying you prefer the former. So why not do the same with wines from a closer grouping in terms of quality? After all, it’s your preference.