Posted: Jun 15, 2017
It’s hard not to laugh when you hear the way some wines are described. A wine can be briary, burnt, blunt, brawny or backward. It can be fat, fleshy or flinty. And it can be described to have a finish you hope will never, well, finish. But a recent report shows those highfalutin adjectives translate into big money for winemakers.
In a recent experiment, participants were presented with the same wine — once with no information about it and once with an elaborate description — and formed very different opinions of them. Consumers typically see wine descriptions on bottle labels and on websites that sell the wine.
In the study’s first session, participants were given a blind taste test. In the second, held over a week later, they were given descriptions of the wines and told they were of very high quality. The results? “The elaborate information level evoked higher expectations before tasting the wines, plus resulted in higher liking ratings,” according to the study, conducted by the University of Adelaide’s School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, Waite Research Institute, in Australia.
And the upshot? Participants said they were willing to pay more for the wines with the fancy descriptions. The wine varietals that participants tasted were Chardonnay, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc.
The people “fooled” by the descriptions shouldn’t feel bad, though. Even wine experts have been shown on several occasions to not be able to distinguish expensive wine from inexpensive. Or “good” from “bad.” Or, in one now-famous study, red from white.
In 2001, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Bordeaux in France dyed a white wine red and gave it to over 50 oenology (wine science) students. The experts described the wine as if it were a red.
By STEVEN KUTZ
Source: Market Watch
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