Wine Spectator is an American magazine specializing in tasting notes, industry news and wine-personality profiles. The magazine was founded in 1976 by Bob Morrisey, but has remained under the guidance of its current editor Marvin Shanken since he purchased the publication in 1979.
Each year the announcement of the magazine's Top 100 Wines, and Wine of the Year is eagerly awaited. For this year's results, see: Wine Spectator Top 100 Wines 2012.
All 15 editions of Wine Spectator published each year include more than 400 tasting notes, and in some cases upwards of 1000. The wine critics who figure among Wine Spectator’s tasting and reviewing panel are James Laube, Harvey Steiman, Bruce Sanderson, Kim Marcus and James Molesworth. James Suckling wrote for the magazine between 1981 and 2010 but now has an independent website. Wine Spectator's online presence is at www.winespectator.com.
Wine Spectator rates wines using the following 100-point scale:
- 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