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Wine Ratings: Seeking a Consensus among Tasters via Normalization, Approval, and Aggregation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 June 2021

Olivier Gergaud*
KEDGE Business School (Bordeaux campus), 680 Cours de la Libération, 33405 Talence Cedex, France
Victor Ginsburgh
ECARES, Université Libre de Bruxelles and CORE, Université catholique de Louvain, 50 avenue F. Roosevelt 1050, Brussels, Belgium; e-mail:
Juan D. Moreno-Ternero
Department of Economics, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Carretera de Utrera, Km.1. 41013. Seville, Spain; e-mail:
e-mail: (corresponding author).


The modern era of wine journalism has provided abundant information about wines and widespread use of numerical rating systems. A tiny difference, especially at the top of the distribution of ratings, may have striking consequences on wine sales and investment returns. This article provides a general framework to obtain a consensus among tasters’ opinions (reflected as numerical wine ratings) via three subsequent stages: normalization, approval, and aggregation. It is inspired by contributions in political science, social choice, game theory, and operations research. We apply it to the Judgment of Paris as well as to rank 2018 en-primeur Bordeaux wines, rated by five international experts. (JEL Classifications: C18, L15, L66)

Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of American Association of Wine Economists

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We thank Karl Storchmann (Editor of this Journal) and an anonymous referee for helpful comments and suggestions. The third author acknowledges financial support from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (ECO2017-83069-P).


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