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Expensive Wines Taste Better? Fact Or Fiction!

A study reveals that a higher price tag on a bottle of wine tricks the tasting process of the reward region of our brain. It tricks us into believing that because it is an expensive wine it tastes good, or better than the lesser expensive wines.

Expensive Wines Taste Better? Fact Or Fiction!

Difference between cheap and expensive wine

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Higher price tag on a bottle of wine tricks the tasting process
  2. Price of the wine urged the mind to believe expensive wine tastes better
  3. Expensive wines taste better is nothing but an opinion of our mind

A study reveals that a higher price tag on a bottle of wine tricks the tasting process of the reward region of our brain. It tricks us into believing that because it is an expensive wine it tastes good, or better than the lesser expensive wines. The market placebo effect, where 2 similar products are perceived differently due to difference in price is what comes into play here. "Quality has its price" is what provides this effect with a base to stand on. 

Bernd Weber from the University of Bonn in Germany added, "However, it has so far been unclear how the price information ultimately causes more expensive wine to also be perceived as having a better taste in the brain." 

"As expected, the subjects stated that the wine with the higher price tasted better than an apparently cheaper one," said Hilke Plassmann from the INSEAD Business School in France. 


Researchers continue to assess how the difference in prices led the mind into believing that 2 different wines have a varying taste, even if there is no variation whatsoever. A study was conducted with 15 men and 15 women as participants, with an average age of 30 years. 

The test was conducted with the participants lying down in an MRI scanner so that the brain activity could be recorded. A millilitre of the wine was given to them via a tube in their mouth, after showing its price. Then, each participant was asked to rate the wine on a scale from 1 to 9 on the basis of how good it tastes. After this, their mouth was rinsed with a neutral liquid and then given the next identical wine for tasting. Wine used in the test was an average to good quality wine with a retail price of 12 euros. But in the MRI scanner, a different price was shown, like 3 or 6 or 18 euros. 

Hilke Plassmann from the INSEAD Business School in France concluded, "As expected, the subjects stated that the wine with the higher price tasted better than an apparently cheaper one." 

Hence, it was proven that the price of the wine urged the mind to believe that more expensive wine tasted better. This was concluded by the MRI test results. 

Weber also stated, "The reward and motivation system is activated more significantly with higher prices and apparently increases the taste experience in this way." 

INSEAD post-doctoral fellow Liane Schmidt also said "Ultimately, the reward and motivation system plays a trick on us." 

So, expensive wines taste better is nothing but an opinion of our mind, it does not really possess any factual relevance.



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