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Delhi Wine Club
Brits can’t tell Plonk from Premium

Posted: Friday, 15 April 2011 10:49

Brits can’t tell Plonk from Premium

A blind tasting study conducted at this year’s ongoing Edinburgh International Science Festival shows that most people can’t tell the difference between cheap and expensive bottle of wine with only half of the participants being able to identify correctly.

The results of The Science of Wine and Cocktails, an event held at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh as part of Science Festival 2011 being held from 9-22 April and declared yesterday indicate that the 578 volunteers could differentiate between cheap plonk and premium white wines only 53% of the time and 47% of the time for red wines. The overall results indicate that there was a 50 % chance of identifying the wines correctly as expensive or cheap based on taste alone- the same odds as flipping a coin.

The participants were asked to comment on a variety of red and white wines ranging from a £3.49 bottle of Bordeaux wine to a £29.99 bottle of champagne. The researchers categorised inexpensive wines as costing £5 and less, while expensive bottles were pegged at £10 and more.

The participants scored best when deciding between two bottles of Pinot Grigio, with 59% correctly telling the difference. The Bordeaux red costing either £3.49 or £15.99, fooled most people with only 39% correctly identifying the same.

People fool themselves into thinking expensive wines taste better than cheap ones, says psychologist Richard Wiseman, Science Festival Guest Director and a Professor of Psychology, who conducted the blind trials. "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,” said Wiseman, according to the report by Guardian.

All the drinkers who took part in the survey were attending the science festival, but Wiseman claims the group was unlikely to be any worse at wine tasting than a cross-section of the general public.

"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 study has gained widespread news coverage, and has sparked media interest as far away as Australia.



Sandeep Mirchandani Says:

I am sure Indians will fare much worse than the Brits because wine culture is still very new in India and a lot of people drink wine simply because it is the "IN" thing to do.. Nobody understands the subtle characteristics of grape varietals.. We have a long way to go before catching up with the rest of the world...

Posted @ April 27, 2011 14:28


Shane Kaushal Says:

We at ‘ANZ Wine’ feel pride and extremely pleased that the high-profile recognition was once again confirmation for our New Zealand Wine Growers of what we had believed for years - that New Zealand was one of the finest new world Pinot Noir producers. Twelve judges tasted 20 pinot noirs from New Zealand, the United States, France, Germany, and Australia. Interestingly the most prestigious, a $7000 bottle of 1990 Domaine de la Romanee-Conti La Tache, was trumped by our New Zealand wine that sells at a friction of cost. Demand has soared for a New Zealand Pinot Noir crowned best in the world. New Zealand wine is an experience like no other. Our special combination of soil, climate and water, our innovative pioneering spirit and our commitment to quality all come together to deliver pure, intense and diverse experiences. In every glass of New Zealand Wine is a world of pure discovery.

Posted @ April 16, 2011 10:18



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