A Negative Correlation Between Wine Price And Perceived Quality

Wow, another study that says that people are impressed by expensive wine, but that when they don’t know the price, they don’t have any idea of…the price! I’m mocking this paper just a bit, but the point is pretty basic. People tend to choose less expensive wines when they don’t have price information. It’s not a huge difference, and then only if you toss out the outliers.

I don’t think that this is anything particularly newsworthy; people will obviously tend to choose wines they like. Many people choose particular wines because they have found that, for instance, Dry Creek Valley Zinfandels have a peppery characteristic that is pleasing. But when you eliminate the more generic wines within the varietal, the remaining wines will be more expensive. But faced with a blind tasting of wines that are not flawed in some way, it’s going to be pretty random. And those expensive wines? You know; the weird ones that have mint overtones (I kid you not!) or those lovely French Burgundies that can be redolent of pig-shit? They are very, very expensive. But if you don’t like those characteristics you are going to choose the perfectly serviceable $8 Australian Shiraz.

The lesson? Drink what tastes good and what you can afford, unless of course the name and label are really cool and you just can’t resist.

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