Perhaps not surprisingly, in a framed field experiment on wine perception published in the journal Food Quality and Preference, blind tasters gave cheap wine a better rating when they were told it was more expensive.
Here’s what Carlin Karr, wine director for Boulder’s Frasca Food and Wine, has to say about that: “Culturally, I think we are a society that places more value and prestige on expensive goods than less expensive products. However, the canned wine and ready-to-drink category is the fastest growing category in alcohol, proving that the less expensive, lower-quality category cannot be ignored. In my opinion, wines need to be a certain price point to be of a quality that checks boxes of ethical standards for the environment, the labor force, and the end consumer.”
On the flip side, Erin O’Brien, co-owner of Saved by the Wine in Dillon, says, “More expensive wine [does] not necessarily mean it should taste better. What I personally think most obviously differentiates cheap and expensive wine is that residual sugar taste you start to pick up on. Noticing a sweet flavor in wines that aren’t supposed to be sweet signals additives to me.”
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