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About WineScores

What is a wine score?

What is a wine score and how do wine reviewers (I don’t refer to myself as a wine critic, I review wine, I don't criticize it) decide on that score?
A wine score is a numerical rating wine reviewers give to a wine based on a series of elements. Every wine reviewer (or wine critic) has their own method of getting to a conclusive number even if they use similar guidelines to one another.

The 100 point scale

What is the 100 point scale? It is a numerical score based on the over quality of the wine. Some reviewers use stars (1-5) some use a 20 point scale. The 100 point scale is the most recognized scale, used by wine reviewers/critics world wide.
How does it work? Generally, the 100 point scale starts at a base of 50 points out of a possible 100 as an even platform. The theory is, its all wine so let’s give it all the same opportunity by starting it off with the same benefit. From that 50 point base score a number of other elements will give it additional points( i.e.: colour-5 points, clarity-5 points, aroma-10 points, taste-10 points, finish-10 points, typicity-5 points ageability-5 points or overall quality- 5 points). Each of these elements is allotted a certain amount of points (see previous examples), the better the quality of each of these elements the higher the score the wine will get.
I’m not convinced that any one reviewer’s method is best. It is whatever works for each individual. It’s a method we rely upon to give the public a “number” that we feel is worthy and to the best of our knowledge and experience will be fair and unbiased.
The individual palate will vary from reviewer to reviewer because like you, all of our palates have preferences (some people like chocolate snacks and some like potato chips) but ultimately it is our job to appreciate the quality or recognize flaws in all wines whether it’s a wine we would personally order in a restaurant or not. I believe this is a common trait in all good reviewers.

What is the philosophy of WineScores.ca?

I review wines based on similar criteria that most wine reviewers/critics do - by colour, clarity, aroma, taste, finish, typicity and overall quality.
I believe wine is personal and individual, it is made to drink not just analyze, that wine is about the person and the occasion and the company – not just the score. But I also respect quality, the sense of place and the passion that goes into making wine. I don’t do this job to find fault. I do it because I love wine and I look for the positive in something that is part of my every day life.

How do I review wines? Why don't I charge for content and reviews when other sites do? I'll tell you here


What do WineScores' “scores” mean?

0-84 No published reviews
85-88 Solid wine - a simple, everyday quaffer or dinner wine (should be affordable)
89-91 Very good wine - one you can feel confident to share with friends and wine geeks
92-95  Excellent wine - delicious, well made, overall superior quality and typicity.
96-100 Exceptional quality, a complete wine, a classic and probably highly sought after. Exceeds expectations, an epiphany, the juice that dreams are made of.

Who is behind WineScores?


Daenna Van Mulligen is a Vancouver based wine writer.

She is an accredited sommelier and has published her sister site WineDiva™ since February 2004.
These popular sites are two of the top ranked wine review websites in Canada.

Daenna has traveled extensively around the world and her travels have taken her to vineyards in:

Italy: Abruzzo, Friuli, Marche, Tuscany, Veneto, Piedmont, Sardinia and Umbria Germany: Nahe, Rheingau, Rheinhessen, the Pfalz Canada: Okanagan Valley, Fraser Valley, Similkameen Valley in BC, Niagara Peninsula in Ontario.
South Africa: Constantia, Walker Bay, Paarl and Stellenbosch. Portugal: Bairrada, Dao, Estremadura, Vinho Verde, Douro and Alentejo. Chile: Aconcagua, Maipo, Casablanca, Cachapoal, Colchagua, Curico and Maule. USA: Napa Valley, Santa Lucia Highlands and Sonoma County in California, Oregon and Washington States. Australia: Hunter Valley, Riverina, Barossa, McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills, Yarra Valley and Clare Valley. Spain: Catalunya regions of Penedes, Cava and Priorat, Jerez, Ribera del Duero, Rioja, La Mancha, Malaga, Valencia, Utiel-Requena Argentina: the main winegrowing region of Cuyo (includes Mendoza), Rio Negro and Neuquen in Patagonia. France: Alsace (north to south)Burgundy (north to south), the Rhone Valley (north to south). New Zealand: Central Otago, Waipara, Marlborough, Wairarapa/Martinborough, Hawkes Bay, Gisborne, Nelson, Auckland and Waiheke Island...
Her ultimate goal is to visit them all.
(Photo credit above: Joe Borrelli)

Wine Judging 

VinItaly - one of the world’s largest wine fairs
Cornucopia's annual Top 25 (eight years)
Vines Magazine's annual InterVin International Wine Awards (Panel leader all seven consecutive years)
Okanagan Wine Festival's Wine Awards
ViniPax in Southern Portugal. 





Presenting & Public Appearances

Among a number of other public and private speaking engagements, Daenna has been a presenter and a panelist at Whistler's well known international wine festival Cornucopia since 2007 and at The Vancouver International Wine Festival for a number of years.

• She has spoken for peers in the wine trade and media on Portugal for ViniPortugal.
• She was the hostess with the mostess of the wine, beer and spirits stage for 10 years at EAT!Vancouver
• She hosted Diva's at the Met for 4 consecutive years at the Vancouver International Wine Festival
• A keynote speaker at the Uva d'Ouro Wine Conference in Porto, Portugal, September 2014
• One of the world's leading wine experts speaking at the inaugural International Sauvignon Blanc Celebration in Marlborough, New Zealand, February, 2016

Celebrating her 13th year publishing WineDiva™ and ninth year publishing WineScores.ca these sister sites are two of the most visited independent wine review websites in Canada.

Daenna Van Mulligen is not a machine, she is is a one-woman show. All tasting, reviews, publishing and articles as well as social media postings are done by her.

Other Print & Media (consistent contributions)

  • Daenna is a regular contributor and a tasting panel member of Canada's Vines Magazine (since 2008)
  • A regular contributer (since 2008) to BC Liquor Stores TASTE Magazine
  • A new contributor to Montecristo Magazine
  • Daenna was the sole wine columnist for Infamous Magazine during its two year run 2007/2008 and she has contributed to Wine Trails Magazine, among others.

Read all of Daenna's articles for Vines Magazine, TASTE Magazine and Montecristo Magazine here


For seven years, Daenna was the wine voice heard weekly on Tasting Room Radio.


Daenna has also made numerous appearances on CityTV as well as on Global BC and has been interviewed by Fanny Kiefer on Studio 4 watch here and on Urban Rush watch here


WineScores, sister website WineDiva.ca!


WineDiva™ has available branded merchandise (clothing, cards, coffee mugs etc.).

If you are interested in WineDiva™ branded merchandise, please contact her via her contact page.

*WineDiva is a Registered TradeMark and the use of  WineDiva™ in any form, without consent is prohibited. Use of any content on WineDiva.ca and WineScores.ca (including reviews, photos, articles) in prohibited all content is copyright of Daenna Van Mulligen and cannot be used without written permission and attribution.  



                                                   More about Daenna Van Mulligen (aka WineDiva) here


WineDiva.ca was launched prior to WineScores, in February 2004. WineDiva is the alter ego of Daenna Van Mulligen. She wears a cork tiara and is proof that a girl can have her w(h)ine and drink it too! WineDiva.ca is a tongue-in-cheek approach to a very serious passion for all things wine. WineDiva’s goal is to make wine fun, subtly educational & deviously inspirational. Vintage reciting wine snobs need not apply. WineDiva is painting the wine world pink and drinking it all in, and her glass is always (at least) half-full.

WineScores is the more serious follow up to WineDiva.ca. WineScores was born from the demand to see wine writer Daenna Van Mulligen provide scores on her wine reviews. These are numerical scores based on a 100 point scale – an internationally recognized form of rating wines. These numbers provide a snapshot for consumers on how the wine reviewer views the overall quality of the wine. For more information on scoring wine, go to “about”.

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