On Wednesday we released VinePair’s annual 50 Best Wines of the year. As in years past, our tasting panel sampled thousands of wines in order to create the ranking. To be considered, the bottle had to be readily available in the U.S. and we didn’t consider wines that had been listed in our 2017 ranking. But besides that, all wine, no matter the price, style, or region of origin, was considered.
Creating a ranking of the best wines of a given year is a daunting task and one that might seem silly to some people: “Was the No. 1 wine really the best wine you had all year?” For some on our panel, that answer is definitely yes, but for others, they may have had an older vintage wine, or a wine that’s difficult to find that was more transcendent. It’s also possible a top wine for a panelist may have been a grand cru Burgundy or a classified growth Bordeaux, wines we feel already have enough recognition without being included in a top 50 list.
We like to think of this list not only as a way to honor great wines, but also as a way to reflect on the year that’s passed and tell a larger story. What regions are currently emerging and are now ones to watch? Are other regions or producers that have fallen out of favor now making a comeback? Who are producers that people really need to know about that they currently don’t? To us, making a list that’s filled with a lot of wines that you already know, especially wines that you already know to be great, does no service to you as a drinker or to the producers.
That’s the subject we’re talking about on this week’s VinePair Podcast, where Zach and Adam are joined by VinePair staff writer Tim McKirdy to discuss how to create a top wine list that truly matters, and what went in to the creation of our own.