CellarTracker provides a number of ways for users to store and share both public and private notes about wines, their consumption and tasting. This document is a guide to help users determine which type of note to use and when.
These are public and are seen by all users. These should NOT contain copyrighted material, scores from critics, or promotional material from retailers. In a nutshell, a tasting note should reflect YOUR impressions on how a wine tastes. It is important to keep in mind that tens of thousands of people see these tasting notes every day. Any remarks that are defamatory, offensive, or strongly political may be edited or deleted. Play nicely!
With regard to copyrights, please note the following which appears on the personal tasting note entry screen to this effect: NOTE: Tasting notes that you enter should not include copyrighted material. Their use is governed by Section 6 (Contributions) of the CellarTracker! Terms and Conditions.
The new CellarTracker site has a wizard that helps to clearly equate the 100-point scale to the US academic grading system that it is based on.
98-100: (A+) Extraordinary
94-97: (A) Outstanding
90-93: (A-) Excellent
86-89: (B+) Very Good
80-85: (B) Good
70-79: (C) Below/Average
50-69: (D) Avoid
The classic CellarTracker site broke things out in a slightly less granular fashion, although there is no explicit shift in the actual intent of how to rate wines.
85-89: Very Good to Excellent
70-74: Below average
96-100: An extraordinary wine of profound and complex character displaying all the attributes expected of a classic wine of its variety. Wines of this caliber are worth a special effort to find, purchase, and consume.
90-95: An outstanding wine of exceptional complexity and character. In short, these are terrific wines.
80-89: A barely above average to very good wine displaying various degrees of finesse and flavor as well as character with no noticeable flaws.
70-79: An average wine with little distinction except that it is a soundly made. In essence, a straightforward, innocuous wine.
60-69: A below average wine containing noticeable deficiencies, such as excessive acidity and/or tannin, an absence of flavor, or possibly dirty aromas or flavors.
50-59: A wine deemed to be unacceptable.
95-100 Classic: a great wine
90-94 Outstanding: a wine of superior character and style
85-89 Very good: a wine with special qualities
80-84 Good: a solid, well-made wine
75-79 Mediocre: a drinkable wine that may have minor flaws
50-74 Not recommended
Q: When reading a tasting note I see references to "1,000 views" for that tasting note. What is a "view," and how are these counted?
A: A "view" is counted every time the tasting note is "rendered" onto a web page by the server, although a user does not increment the view count for their own note. Notes are rendered in many places such as the general list of notes, when you drill down to a wine, on your homepage etc. Note that browsing of the mobile site does not bump the view count, nor does the RSS functionality. The counts are just supposed to let people have some idea of whether other people are seeing the notes, and this is modeled after similar features in many bulletin boards. Obviously the fact that a note is rendered does not mean that it has actually been read.
On every wine page, you can add/edit/view articles on specific wines, producers, varieties, appellations and more. As with the personal tasting notes, these articles are public and should not contain copyrighted professional scores. That said, this is the ideal place to store data from producers about their wines, fact sheets, varietal breakdowns, alcohol percentages etc.
When consuming a bottle, you can store a short (512 character) note. This is the ideal place to record who you might have consumed a bottle with, given a gift to, the name of a restaurant etc.
For each wine, each user can store one long (6144 character) private note. This is a good place to keep track of information about gifts or other stuff that might better be kept private.
For each wine a user can enter a many of these as you want. You can record the publication, date, score, drinking window and review text. For copyright reasons, these are private to each user. This is the ideal way to store copyrighted write-ups from critics for your own personal use.
For each purchase you create, you can store a short (255 character) purchase note. This is a great place to keep track of order numbers and other purchase-specific details. NOTE: if you give users permission to view your cellar, there are views in the site where they can see the purchase note.
For each bottle in your cellar, you can shore a short (255 character) bottle note. This is a great place to keep track of bottle-specific conditions such as "signed by winemaker" or "torn label" or "scratched capsule" etc. NOTE: if you give users permission to view your cellar, there are views in the site where they can see the bottle note.