Another reason wine judging is done blind

Perhaps it's because no one wants to think (s)he didn't get the best value for the money. Whatever the reason, the price of a bottle of wine influences how well consumers like it, according to a study just released by the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the California Institute of Technology (CalTech).

"What we document is that the price is not just about influences of quality, but it can actually affect real quality," said Baba Shiv, Stanford professor of marketing.

During the study, researchers ascertained that if a subject was told one wine cost $5 and another $45, that part of the brain that experiences pleasure became more active when drinking the "$45 wine" even though the subject was served the same wine both times.

The researchers, who used 11 CalTech male grad students as their subjects, said they relied on MRIs to conduct the study. They tested the students as they swallowed several different cabernet sauvignons through a pump attached to their mouths.

Not exactly conducive to relaxed wine tasting, but close enough for science.

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