Several wine lovers have asked themselves the question: Are more expensive wines are necessarily better than cheaper ones? Can our perception be influenced by factors unrelated to flavor?
An article published in the Food Quality and Preference journal wanted to understand how price influences the experience of tasting wine. It mentions that the price manipulation was done in a realistic wine tasting environment.
The tasting was done at the University of Basel in Switzerland with 140 people. The participants were given various wines categorized in price brackets ranging from €8.40 to €58 per bottle. Not all were correct, some were priced to deceive.
The mind is a beautiful thing, capable of bending the truth to the point where expectations fit realityProfessor Jens Glaab, Professor of Psychology at the University of Basel, co-author of the study
One of the conclusions was that the cheaper wines were considered better by those who were tasting them when participants were told that they were more expensive than they really were. On the other hand, with the expensive ones presented with a lower price, the rating did not change.
The researcher stressed that price should not be considered as a basic principle of such an evaluation. Professor Jens Glaab concluded that it would be best to try to isolate the experience (i.e leaving out non-essential information such as price, brand name, etc.) and focus on the senses.