WineBlueBook FAQ (Last updated October 2009)
- About WineBlueBook
Quality Price Ratio. It’s what we’re all looking for when we shop for wine. It’s how great restaurants choose a "house" wine. It’s what you wish the wine magazines would tell you, in addition to scoring wines based on their attributes and flaws.
WineBlueBook is what’s missing from wine reviews: a simple wine buying guide that offers an at-a-glance breakdown of how one wine compares to another in terms of quality and price. The goal is not to steer wine consumers toward one region, brand, or producer. Nor does WineBlueBook voice yet another opinion about whether a wine is "good" or not.
Our scores simply take the information that’s already available to consumers (if you have the time, patience, and resources to research thousands of wines!) and compiles it into an easily understandable, easily available format. WineBlueBook aims to make wine drinking and wine buying more accessible to everyone. Whether you’re in the market for a top-notch Burgundy or a simple white to drink with dinner, WineBlueBook helps consumers find value wines at every price point.
Other ways to learn about WineBlueBook:
- You can now follow WineBlueBook on:
- Or view a video and .pdf document explaining how to use WineBlueBook
- How Does WineBlueBook Determine Value?
It’s a simple formula. Wines are grouped by quality (the average score a wine receives from leading wine critics) and type (so, all 89 point Australian Shirazes are compared with each other). Using wine-searcher.com, which lists prices from over 14,000 wine merchants, the average retail price is determined for each wine in the group. To find the quality price ratio, it’s a simple matter of dividing each wine’s individual price by the average price for the whole group. If the average value = 100%, then anything below that represents a better value. Anything above, not so good. So, lower scores are better - just like golf.
- Why Subscribe If the Information’s Available to Anybody?
Because each issue of WineBlueBook is the result of painstaking, time-consuming research that most folks simply don’t have the time—or the patience—to comb through. Because you’d rather be enjoying a glass of wine than wading through statistics. And because, as David Shaw wrote in his LA Times article on WineBlueBook, "the desire for a bargain is almost as universal as the desire for food, clothing and sex."
- How do I use WineBlueBook?
Two primary methods to take advantage of WineBlueBook. First, each issue includes wines scored in the last 30 days. Use the list to find wines before they sell out. The second section lists "Outstanding and Great Value" by varietal, scored in the past year. Bring this list to your retailer (or favorite online wine site) to find the values by varietal.
- History of WineBlueBook
Founder Neil Monnens first hit on the idea for WineBlueBook when he noticed a trend at his monthly wine tasting group. After tasting a dozen or so wines blind, Neil and his friends found that they often liked wines priced at the lower end of the spectrum nearly as much as wines priced at the high end. He soon developed the quality-price-ratio formula that became QPRwines, launched in September 2004.
Distributed as an email-only wine buying guide, subscribers initially received issues focused on one variety or region. But after finding that wines released and reviewed earlier in the year were selling out before the issue was released, QPRwines underwent a revamp. Relaunched in October 2007 as WineBlueBook, issues now encompass all newly-reviewed wines—as long as they’ve been reviewed by two or more critics.
- How can I easily find and buy ‘Outstanding, Great and Value’ wines?
To give you the fast track to locating ‘Outstanding, Great and Value’ wines, WineBlueBook recommends using http://www.WineSearcher.com, an impartial online resource for wine availability and pricing from over 8,900 retailers.
- Why do the average prices listed on WineBlueBook seem lower than what I pay at my neighborhood wine retailer?
Because of state taxes, discounts, margins, competition and geographical location prices may be higher at your local wine shop. Other factors such as currency fluctuations and the high cost of living in major U.S. cities all play a part in fluctuating retail prices. WineBlueBook surveyed its subscribers and 73% of subscribers answered that the prices WineBlueBook listed were "accurate". If WineBlueBook raised wine prices 5% or 10% across the board, the same wines will receive the same WineBlueBook index and "Outstanding", "Great Value" or "Value" moniker. It would make retailers happy if we raised our average prices, but WineBlueBook is for the wine consumer first.
- I work for a winery. How do I get our wines listed in WineBlueBook?
If you wines are reviewed by two or more of the major wine critics your wine will be included in WineBlueBook.
- Why don’t you include more editorial content for varietals and vintages?
Our area of expertise is harnessing the power of the Internet so consumers can make better wine buying decisions. One of the biggest concerns subscribers have about WineBlueBook is its length and with so many excellent publications on wine available to consumers, we’re sticking to what we know best.
- What is WineBlueBook' Subscription Guarantee?
If after two issues of WineBlueBook you are not totally satisfied, you may cancel and receive a full refund for your subscription. If you cancel after the third issue, you will receive your money back on all unsent issues. You are not required to provide a reason for discontinuing your subscription - but we do find feedback helpful.
- How do I change my email address?
Login to the members area and click the "Account" button in the upper right of the page. Enter your desired password and click the "Save" button. You can also change your username, first name, last name and/or password in the members area.
- I signed up to WineBlueBook but haven't received an email?
If you do not appear to be receiving emails from us, please check that your anti-spam software is not deleting them.
- For AOL: Include WineBlueBook in your "People I Know list". Do this by opening a WineBlueBook email and clicking on the "Add Address" button.
- For Hotmail: 1) Select Options from the navigation bar at the top right hand side of the screen. 2)Select Mail, then Junk Email Protection and then Safe List. 3)Enter WineBlueBook.com in the "Type an address or domain" field. 4) Click Add.
- I love WineBlueBook, how can I help you?
WineBlueBook has a ‘refer a friend’ program and for every person who signs up for subscription, you will receive a 3 issue extension to your subscription. Tell your friend when they sign up to include your email address in the "Email of friend who referred you? (we would like to thank them):" on the subscription payment page.