Does Expensive Wine Taste Better?
A question with answers that can puzzle and amuse but not take away from the perpetual hunt for wines that promise great taste at a bargain
Now that’s an interesting and a tad provocative question and the answer isn’t clear cut either. In theory, expensive wine does taste better. But there are many reasons for this apart from the obvious and some of them are really quite funny. So, the obvious answer is that expensive wine tastes better simply because it has been produced from high quality fruit by a brilliant winemaker and in case of a premium red wine, barrel ageing also adds a dimension of quality. In practice though, this question has no absolute answer and is in fact a trigger for wine enthusiasts to constantly hunt for superb wines at bargain prices. The fun of the hunt so to speak is a huge part of the allure for both wine enthusiasts and wine experts. That said, market forces eventually drive up the prices of wines that become popular thank to praise heaped on them by those who were happy to drink them on the cheap. That irony is one key reason why good wine inevitably becomes expensive. Another incredibly amusing reason why expensive wine tastes better is because you, the consumer expect it to. There is copious and puzzling research that confirms that general wine consumers give a more favourable verdict to wines they are tasting when they are told these are priced at a premium. While the wine in question might genuinely be good, confirmation bias is believed to heavily influence opinion. So while expensive wine tastes better either because it actually is because of superior quality inputs or consumers simply believe it to be because it is steeply priced, it doesn’t mean that less expensive wine doesn’t have the potential to impress. Now while that’s a question for another blog, rest assured that the wine universe is studded with a number of fabulous value ferments so keep an open mind when tasting and shopping for wines because you never know when a wine below Rs 2000 will impress you as much as a bottle that commands Rs 10000. Let the palate alone and not the price tag be your guide.