As I posted before, I would like nothing more than to surrender completely to the truism of ‘winefulness’. Unfortunately not all wines are well-crafted enough to allow me to. Until then I need a yardstick. I need a measure I can rely on to make buying decisions as a wine professional; one that helps me to quantify my preferences so as to be suitable for comparison and sharing with others – but one that lets me also consider the vinous X-factor.
Unlike Bob or Jancis I don’t do numbers, no centuries or college marks out of 20, or stars. I tag wines with a letter from A to F. The better A and B wines that strike a cord and even the odd C bottle when it’s peculiar (in a good way) although far from excellent, get marked up. Such a wine will receive one, sometimes two, or exceptionally three ‘Ġeez’.
A Ġeez is an exclamation mark like ‘Jeez’ /dʒiːz/ that US slang for an expression of surprise or strong emotion of approval. French tasters call it rather sophisticatedly the ‘Je-ne-sais-quoi’ quality. Indeed, Ġeez are signs of recognition for the X-factor of vinous stars, what makes you want to say ‘rock on’, their rockability!
That is my six-letter-diacritic-hyperboled system.
My index isn’t perfect but I like to think that the scoring system caters well for my palate allowing me to single out and record every now and then those little vinous gems which I – and maybe you too – can buy again without hesitation.
As a reference, and for fun, I have borrowed from the comparative scoresheet compiled by Steve De Long of www.delongwine.com reviewing many different scoring systems and topped it up with what my letters mean.
A = Accolades * James Suckling would proclaim “I’m 98 on this one!”. In this category I also place those wines that I consider amongst the best in the region – similar to a country’s best hotels in the Forbes (formerly Mobil) Travel Guide.
B = Bravo * Decanter would probably allocate 4 stars; so would Michael Broadbent when in a generous mood.
C = Commonplace * Jancis would hover at 15, or even 17 when distinguished, on her scale of 20.
D = Drinkable * Usually not written-up about or occasionally upgraded to a C (on a very pardoning day).
E = Eccentric * The odd-ball bottle of wine that’s hard to place when tasted blind, likely to startle a sad sigh or Ugh? but not Pewgh#*^ (which is reserved for the F-category).
F = Faulty or (too) unbalanced * No stars, pour down the kitchen sink.
Ġ stands for Ġeez * My personal glyph added to exciting AB(C) wines. Highly recommended!
Wines rated with a certain number of Ġeez will have that indefinable pleasing little extra like the intriguing diacritic marks to some letters in the Maltese alphabet. The onset of the sound goes like Ġunju (June), ġewża (walnut) and, of course, Ġellewża (Malta’s native red grape).
Yes, it has a mouth-touting gourmand delicious quality to it!