Do Critic Scores Really Inflate Wine Prices?

Does A Good Critic Score Really Affect A Wine’s Price?

The Short Answer Is Yes And No!

It seems logical enough, if a wine gets scored well then of course the price will be hiked, right??? Well perhaps not, its not always that simple. When it gets scored can play a big part. So do points scores really affect prices?

If a wine receives it’s score after it has been released to the market then its going to be rather awkward to change the already set price, retailers could change their price but nobody wants to be accused of profiteering as that would be reputational suicide. Some have tried this in the past and suffered long term by upsetting their loyal customers. So, while smiling through gritted teeth they’re likely to sell at the original price, wine drinkers get a bargain while retailers desperately seek more stock.

If however the wine gets scored before release to market that’s a different matter, there is no set price. In a few months we’ll see the biggest annual display of this when the 2022 vintage Bordeaux’s get released to market. Before release châteaux and negociants will gather in darkened rooms to discuss not only the scores awarded by the critics but also the state of the economy and anticipated customer appetite. Next they’ll decide how much of the wine to release en primeur and how much to hold back for future ‘ex château’ releases before eventually settling on the highest price they feel the market can stand (rumour has it they also advise estate agents in their spare time!).

So the long answer is also yes and no, good critics scores both can and can’t affect prices.

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