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Beverage Testing Institute

The "Beverage Testing Institute" was founded in 1981 in Chicago with the aim of conducting quality evaluations for beer, wine and spirits and publishing them for consumers. Products can be submitted by all producers worldwide. The results are published in renowned magazines such as Wine Enthusiast, Restaurant Hospitality, The New Yorker Magazine, Wine & Spirits, International Wine Review, All About Beer and several others. The Institute's journal "Tastings" is published bi-monthly. President of the BTI is Charles Laverick, who himself tastes over 8,000 wines annually. He is also the author of several books, including "Buying Guide to Inexpensive Wines: More Than 1500 Wines Reviewed by the Beverage Testing Institute"

Every year a competition "World Wine Championships" (by the way also "World Beer Championships") is held. An average of 3,000 to 4,000 wines are tasted. The wine evaluation is carried out in a two-stage procedure by members of the institute (including Laverick) and professional guest tasters with special knowledge of the products to be tested. In the first round, the wines are evaluated in four stages, namely 1 (not recommended), 2 (commercial quality, though not overly exciting), 3 (yet probably, not often he highest merit) and 4 (highest quality). Only if wines are rated 4 by at least two tasters, they will advance to the second round (merit round). In this round the wines are rated 3 (very good), 4 (truly excellent), 5 (outstanding) and 6 (world-class experience).

This is followed by a conversion into a 100-point system for the publication of the result: 96 to 100 points = superlative, 90-95 points = exceptional, 85 to 89 points = highly recommended, 80 to 84 points = recommended, less than 80 points = not recommended. Additional awards are for example "best buy" (best value for money) and "cellar suggestion" (probable improvement after five years of storage). See also under Awards and Wine Events.

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