Monday, April 18, 2011

But, snobbery is its own reward

A Hertfordshire University study found that people cannot tell the difference between cheap and expensive wine. The (UK) Guardian reports:
A survey of hundreds of drinkers found that on average people could tell good wine from plonk no more often than if they had simply guessed. ....

Richard Wiseman, a psychologist at Hertfordshire University, conducted the survey at the Edinburgh International Science Festival.

"People just could not tell the difference between cheap and expensive wine," he said. "When you know the answer, you fool yourself into thinking you would be able to tell the difference, but most people simply can't." ....

"The real surprise is that the more expensive wines were double or three times the price of the cheaper ones. Normally when a product is that much more expensive, you would expect to be able to tell the difference," Wiseman said.

The Wine aficionados at object to this study. calling it "flawed" and a "farce." But notice how they object:
For those of us that spend our lives tasting through wines to determine which expensive wines offer quality that supports higher price points, and which inexpensive wines reach quality levels that qualify them as bargain wines drinking better than many others at 3-4X the price, this experiment is a farce. We know that price is an unsteady indicator of rewarding drinking.
If they weren't all wrapped up in their snobbery, it would be obvious to Wine-Zag that they were agreeing with the results of the Hertfordshire study: price gives little indication of wine quality.

Hat tip: Instapundit.

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