Rating System

The Challenge

The US wine market is literally overflowing with wines.  How do we figure out what’s good? What to avoid? And most importantly, how not to waste our hard earned dollars on a bottle that just doesn’t deliver true value?

Our Approach

We took and step back, talked and listened to fellow wine consumers, looked at how the industry rates wine today, then thought long and hard about how we personally make decisions about which wines to try and buy.

The one big thing we realized is that the consumer wine decision making process is multi-dimensional (hey, we’re human after all!) Yet, traditional wine rating systems, designed to help us make wine decisions, are flat and one dimensional?  Only taking into account things like Aroma, Taste and Color and not much else.  

Sadly, this approach neglects other key factors that are important to average consumers resulting in a disconnected and less relatable wine rating.

Our Solution

In reality, we as consumers factor several criteria into our decision making before we decide to buy a wine.  Price (Value) is certainly important, as is Pairability (how versatile the wine is when paired with different types of foods) and let’s face it, with all the options competing for our attention these days, Label and Packaging also strongly influence our decisions.


Our Wine Rating System was developed to address these gaps in traditional wine rating systems with the goal of creating a 360-degree rating of a wine that is truer to the consumer and the way they make decisions.  This in our opinion leads to a more connected and relatable wine rating.

Every wine we review on Oakmonkey is rated using the proprietary algorithm of our Wine Rating Sytem and based on the following 6 key weighted criteria: 

1.  Label

We’re looking for originality, creativity, engagement and look and feel of the wine label and packaging.  This is an important criteria for us!

2.  Aroma

The nose or smell of the wine and how true it is to the wine maker’s description.

3.  Taste

The taste of the wine, how long flavors resonate on the palate and how true it is to the wine maker’s description.  This is a key criteria for us!

4.  Color

The color of the wine and how true it is to the wine maker’s description.

5.  Pairing

We’re looking for versatility and how well the wine pairs with various foods.  The more versatile the better!

6.  Price (Value)

The price and overall value of the wine.  This is a key criteria that we balance against how the wine rated under each of the other 5 criteria.

What’s OPI Score?

The OPI score, or “Oakmonkey Point Index Score” is the numeric end result of our rating system.  Every wine we review on Oakmonkey will have an OPI score assigned which represents the overall weighted index score of each wine.

We then use this OPI score to assign an overall star rating based on the table below:

Star Rating


OPI Score

5 Stars Outstanding 91 – 100
4 Stars Excellent 80 – 90
3 Stars Very Good 60 – 79
2 Stars Good 40 – 59
1 Star Not Recommended 20 – 39

Clear as mud?  Awesome!  Shall we go check out some wines?

13 thoughts on “Rating System

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: