The report tore through wine circles recently that a study that shows people think the more expensive wine is the better it tastes. The study, produced by the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the California Institute of Technology, showed that because people expect wines that cost more to be better, they convinced themselves that indeed those wines were more pleasurable to drink. Now this might be easily categorized in the “no kidding!” file, but I don’t think it should be so easily dismissed. This information is actually more beneficial to wine makers - actually, to wine marketers - than it is to wine consumers.
This news is, in my view, an insult to wine drinkers. It demonstrates in no uncertain terms the gullibility and the overall herd-mentality of the wine drinking public (indeed, this phenomenon isn’t limited to the wine business). Is it true that wine drinkers are so eager to have a positive wine-drinking experience that they can be so easily hoodwinked into thinking that because the wine in their glass costs a lot it must taste good? Please, let’s hope not. In the meantime, it should be every serous wine drinker’s mission to sniff out the you-know-what and to let their taste buds make the decisions - not their wallets.