Ignorance of alcohol price is bliss

Here's something fun to know before DL tonight. A recent study, published by the University of Minnesota, showed that, among untrained testers, people who didn't know how much a wine costs didn't enjoy expensive wines any more than less expensive ones.

Let that one sink in for a minute. Got it? Good. The link above is to the entire study, but here's the abstract:

Individuals who are unaware of the price do not derive more enjoyment from more expensive wine. In a sample of more than 6,000 blind tastings, we find that the correlation between price and overall rating is small and negative, suggesting that individuals on average enjoy more expensive wines slightly less. For individuals with wine training, however, we find indications of a positive relationship between price and enjoyment. Our results are robust to the inclusion of individual fixed effects, and are not driven by outliers: when omitting the top and bottom deciles of the price distribution, our qualitative results are strengthened, and the statistical significance is improved further. Our results indicate that both the prices of wines and wine recommendations by experts may be poor guides for non-expert wine consumers.

Now, it's not exactly saying that you'll enjoy MD 20/20 as much as a $100/bottle wine, but you should probably think twice before you buy the $50 wine over the $10 bottle.

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