Blind tasting proves pricey wines are a rip-off

Ever suspected that wine snobs are full of guff? It appears you might be right.

News website has posted a YouTube video in which participants blind-taste three bottles of wine – one priced at $43, one at $14 and one at $8 – and the results may surprise you.

The $43 bottle, a Honig cabernet sauvignon from the Napa Valley, was rated as “outstanding” by Wine Spectator. Nearly half of the non-experts in the blind tasting correctly identified it as the most expensive wine, but the majority of tasters ranked it on par with the cheapest bottle.

The most popular drop was, in fact, the mid-priced tipple.

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The result reflects previous research, as the video explains. An analysis of 6,000 blind tastings in the United States showed that drinkers who aren’t experts in the field actually enjoy the taste of cheaper wines.

But even the pros seem to be confused. Research conducted at the California State Fair shows that only one in 10 judges consistently gave a given wine the same award each time when surreptitiously given it to drink on three occasions.

Perhaps it’s all in the mind. The video also quotes Australian research showing that people rate a wine higher when they know it’s expensive – even if it’s doctored with tartaric acid to make it taste worse.

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