Cheap wine versus expensive wine - Can you really tell the difference?

Have you ever wondered whether an expensive bottle of wine really tastes that much better than a cheap bottle?  It has been said that for the average person, drinking wine can an psychologically driven experience, influenced by labels, price point, bottle appearance and ever peers.

Take away all those factors and pour yourself a glass of wine, without knowing the price or looking at the bottle can you really tell the difference between and $85 bottle and a $8 dollar bottle.  Well a test was just recently conducted.  A group of about 20 people we gathered together in a room with 2 reds (Cabernet Sauvignon), and then 2 whites (Chardonnay). Testers recorded which wine they thought was the most expensive of the 2.  Here are the results:

THE REDS:  A Charles Shaw Blend Cabernet Sauvignon California, 2011 - about $8 and a Laurel Glen Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma Mountain, California, 2007 about $85. - Only about 38% of the testers correctly identified the more expensive wine and 62% preferred the cheaper variety.

THE WHITES: Glen Ellen Reserve Concanno, 2010 Chardonnay, California $8.00 and Cakebread Cellars Chardonnay, Napa Valley California  $65. - The verdict 60% of the tasters actually correctly identified the more expensive bottle but many comments suggested that there wasn't much difference between the 2.

So we have learned that wine drinking is a subjective art and don't judge a wine by it's price.  It has also been proven the most people will enjoy a bottle of wine much more when they are told it is expensive, even when compared to the exact same wine, but told that it's cheaper - go figure!!


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