Does Expensive Wine Taste Better Than Inexpensive Wine? It Might Not Matter As Much As You Think

Having worked in several restaurants that catered to big, fancy wine drinkers, I've come to learn that I do not have the palette for big fancy wine. It honestly all tastes like alcoholic juice to me. But after watching AsapTHOUGHT's new video, which asks the important question, "Does expensive wine taste better than inexpensive wine?" I no longer feel alone in my lack-of-palette-ness. Huzzah! Let us all drink alcohol juice together! Alcohol juice for everyone!

But really, though, the findings from this taste test are hilarious. To conduct potentially the most fun experiment ever, AsapTHOUGHT, a YouTube science channel "with a social conscience," invited some people to their studios for a blind taste test of white, red, and rose varieties. The goal? To determine just how reliable our taste buds are. The point of the whole thing isn't about which wines are "better"; at the end of the day, if you like the way something tastes, then that's all that matters and of course you should go ahead and drink it. The point is about the context can change how we percieve certain tastes, because the science of perception is fascinating.

Studies have shown that visual elements like labels can affect the way a person enjoys wine. Fancy label? Love it. Cheap label? Eh. Even if it's the exact same stuff. Others have found that, similarly, if you tell a person that they're tasting four different wines, but three of the glasses are from the same bottle, they will react differently to each. Ah, the power of suggestion. The power of suggestion and subconsciously snooty humans. Gotta love it.

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AsapTHOUGHT's experiments dealt primarily with perception versus taste buds. The first round was pretty straightforward: Two varieties of Chardonnay with vastly different price tags, served side by side in the same plastic cups. After tasting both varieties, participants were asked to identify the more expensive bottle.

Most people, um, did not do that.

In the next round, two similarly priced white wines were dyed with food coloring to resemble reds. Again, the participants were asked to pick the more expensive red. But most people couldn't even tell the difference! They fully thought each glass had the characteristics and taste of red wine.

The final round of testing gave participants two glasses of the same wine, but told them they were different. And yep, people thought they looked and tasted different.

Human senses are wack, dudes.

Check out the full video here.

Images: Thomas Martinsen/Unsplash; Giphy; YouTube (2)