Cheap wine tastes better if the price tag is bumped up, scientists have revealed
Scientists have tested the theory that more expensive wines taste better and have come back with some surprising results.
Choosing the right bottle of wine can be tricky.
Cheap wine tastes better if the price tag is bumped up, scientists have revealed.
It’s thanks to a new study on whether expensive wine is really worth the cash.
It turns out price may not be the best guide when buying wine.
What’s important about this new study is that it replicated a realistic setting.
The experiment took place at an event at Switzerland’s University of Basel.
Visitors were given a wine-tasting session by the psychology department, attracting 140 participants.
Those taking part were given their own table with six glasses of wine.
They had to taste each glass in specific sequences, clearing their palates between.
And they were ordered not to talk to each other, so they wouldn’t be swayed by other wine tasters.
Cheers to cheaper wine.
Wines were rated based on pleasantness and how intense they tasted.
Half of the glasses had no pricing, but contained three different wines.
The other half had cheap, middling and expensive wines with price tags on.
Some of the tagged wines had been labelled with misleading prices – either significantly higher or lower than the actual price.
And the results were very interesting.
With no price on show, there was zero difference in how pleasant the wines were rated.
This was true regardless of whether it was a cheap or expensive wine.
And when the price of wine was shown to be far higher than its true cost, pleasantness ratings went up.
“Pleasantness ratings did not differ for open and no-price information,” the researchers explained.
“[But] deceptive up-pricing of low-price wine significantly influenced ratings for pleasantness.
“Whereas deceptive down-pricing of high-price wine had no effect on pleasantness ratings.”
Of course, the guests weren’t wine experts – and identifying types of wine is a very difficult skill.
But it suggests that for the average consumer, the price on your bottle of wine might not matter so much.
So it may be worth settling for some cheap booze rather than paying over the odds for a posh bottle at your next party. And always drink responsibly.
This study was published in the Food Quality and Preference journal.