Thursday, October 23, 2008

Times are getting tough, so, how about some cheap wine?

Earlier this year, scientists at Stanford University and the California Institute of Technology made headlines for an unusual wine experiment: They used a brain scanner to show that people derived greater pleasure from drinking brands they thought were more expensive, even when the samples were in fact from identical bottles. 

The subjects experienced heightened neurological activity in the area of the brain responsible for pleasure. 

The implication: Raising the price of a wine actually improves the flavour.

But there were two problems with the methodology, I think. The lucky subjects didn't actually have to pay for the wines; and the research was conducted before The Crash.

I'd bet if I had access to one of those brain scanners today, I could prove just the opposite. When budgets are tight and net worth is disappearing like the contents of a leaky bag-in-box, the bigger thrill comes from plunking down $10 on a bottle that tastes like $20. More...

See also:

  1. Does red wine slow down the ageing process?
  2. China: no tea,please; a glass of wine will be fine...
  3. If you liked Blumenthal's egg and bacon ice-cream...
  4. A glass of wine a day keeps the doctor away...

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