Scoring Wine, The Lost Method

Wine Wine Industry Wine Tasting

Have you ever felt lost trying to “score” wine? Ever get lost in all of those graphs and charts? Us Too! So we created something easy to remember and easy to use.

Here’s how it works, just think I’m lost. LOST. That stands for Look, overall, smell, and taste. Each of these is scored on a scale of 0 to 5. (3 is average) you can do this in your head, with a plus sign on paper, or our fancy sheet you can download.

Let’s do an example. I’m tasting a wine right now, feel free to go open one too, I’ll wait…

I use two specific rules. If I think or say wow, that is worth a minimum of 4 points. If I wrinkle my nose, it is 2 points or lower.
I just opened a nice 2012 Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon from Kenwood Vineyards.

LOST Scoring Method


I’ll pour some into a glass. Now I’ll LOOK at the wine. Does it look like I expect? Deep dark Red? Yes it does. As it is actually better looking than I expected I’m giving it a 4 out of 5 for the Look. Don’t know how it is supposed to look? That’s ok, everyone’s opinion is valid here. How does it look to you?

I skip the O for now and go to S for Smell.


Sometimes the sum is more than the parts. I have had wines that I just adore. The numbers didn’t always show it, but for whatever reason everything worked together. Maybe a great smelling wine, made up for an average taste and made the wine better than average. In this case, I’m calling this wine overall a 3, or again, average.


Basic math required although with the LOST system I already know what I think, this wine is a very good average wine. But to show our work, 4 + 3 + 3 + 3 = 13 out of 20 possible. So you can see how easy it is to use the LOST system really knowing nothing about wine.


Steve spends his days living in the software world of Silicon Valley, dreaming of a day when he can live as a wino hobo riding a wine train.