Posted: Jun 08, 2017
If you've ever found yourself scratching your head at the convoluted descriptions of wine in shops and supermarkets, it turns out there may be a very good reason for them being there after all. A new study has suggested that vivid descriptions might actually make wine appear to taste better.
Researchers at the University of Adelaide found that elaborate descriptions on wine labels positively influenced the customers' expectations, emotions and willingness to drink.
The researchers asked 126 regular wine consumers to taste the same set of three white wines (Chardonnay, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc) in three different settings.
The first was a blind tasting with no information given, while in the second setting they were given a basic sensory description of the wine and in the third they were given an elaborate description.
They found that the amount of information given had a significant effect on the consumers. Writing in the Food Research International journal, the researchers said: "The elaborate information level evoked higher expectations before tasting the wines, plus resulted in higher liking ratings and elicitation of more intense positive and less negative emotions."
They also reported a "substantial increase in willingness to pay" after the consumers had tasted the wines when compared to the blind condition. The results were consistent across all three wine samples.
Study leader, Sue Bastian, said: "Choosing the right wine at the point of sale whether in a wine store, in a restaurant or online can be a difficult task.
"The importance of wine labels and label information has been widely studied and it’s been clearly shown that they represent useful information which influences consumer choice. Our study extends these findings, showing that wine descriptions also influence our whole wine consumption experience.
"Cleverly written wine and producer descriptions when coupled with unbranded wine tasting can evoke more positive emotions, increasing our positive perception of the wine, our estimation of its quality and the amount we would be willing to pay for it."
By Saffron Alexander
June 7, 2017
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