Wine, we know, gets better with age - but does it actually taste better the more it costs? Researchers at the California Institute of Technology have shown that a person's enjoyment of wine can be heightened if they are simply told that it is an expensive one. Expectation is a huge part of wine appreciation before you take a first sip, enhanced by the label, the price, the vintage.
Twenty-one volunteers were asked to sample different bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon and rate the ones they preferred. The only information they were given was the price of the wine - but in a number of cases, they were not told the real price. In one case, the volunteers were given two identical red wines to drink and were told that one cost much less than the other.
Most described the "higher priced" wine as much more enjoyable. The research team also managed to pass off a $90 (£46) bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon as a $10 bottle and presented a $5 as one worth $45.
The volunteers' brains were scanned to monitor the neural activity in the medial orbitofrontal cortex - the area of the brain associated with decision-making and pleasure in terms of flavor. Higher ratings were given to the more "expensive" wines.
Posted by Casey Kazan.