20 July 2008

After 30 years of drinking cheap wine and not noticing any problems with it...

... it turns out I was more or less right and could have proven so with some simple experiments. The ancedote is from the Freakonomics blog and the research is here.

And just when I was about to stop adding balsamic vinegar to my beer the Freakanomics follow-up post shows that all I really needed to do was to have someone add it for me and not tell me.

The positive correlation between price and perceived quality is familiar to most of us. When I was growing up on a farm in Australia in the 1960s my great-uncle Fred who owned an audio equipment store in Melbourne told me that if he had items that were not selling he would raise the price to entice buyers.

Why does Freakonomics focus exclusively on the taste of wine? Why not the pleasure derived from the altered state of conciousness or the severity of the after-effects? My remembered perception of wine drinking is that the best wines are the ones that taste best when drunk in large volumes.

In a future post we will subject water to the above analysis.

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