Monday, 21 April 2008

Do More Expensive Wines Taste Better?

No, apparently, at least according to this academic paper:
Individuals who are unaware of the price do not derive more enjoyment from more expensive wine. In a sample of more than 6,000 blind tastings, we find that the correlation between price and overall rating is small and negative, suggesting that individuals on average enjoy more expensive wines slightly less. For individuals with wine training, however, we find indications of a positive, or at any rate non-negative, correlation.

That is, expensive wine is only better if you know how much it costs. Or you've trained your palette to recognise expensive wines.
Our results indicate that both the prices of wines and wine recommendations by experts may be poor guides for non-expert wine consumers.

That is, wine snobs like what wine snobs like, you go ahead and drink what you enjoy, no matter how cheap.


Joe said...

I would imagine that with all food and drink products it basically comes down to supply and demand. Good marketing creates the demand. Rarity increases price also. Just because a wine has a good marketing department or is rare has no effect on the taste.

Paul said...

True. Like comparing Guinness to Wentworth Oatmeal Stout, I suppose.

What intrigued me about this though, is that there's a suggestion that those in the know have created a criteria for fine wine that has to do with factors that are undetectable by those who don't know (and more than likely don't care) what those factors are.

That is, unless you take time to find out what makes a wine "good" then you've almost no chance of finding "good" wine.

There's something oddly warped about this.