Wine drinkers can sup what they want - it's all pretty much the same


When you’re choosing a bottle of vino, do you carefully analyse its origins, utilising knowledge gained from years of wine study, or do you choose a bottle with either a nice label or the biggest price discount?

You might as well do the latter if the results of a new blind taste test are anything to go by – it suggests that most drinkers can’t tell the difference between a sub-fiver bottle of plonk and the finest wines available to humanity.

578 citizens took part in the test, during the Edinburgh Science Festival, and were offered a variety of reds and whites, with wildly varying price tags on them. They were then asked to name the cheap ones and the expensive ones. They didn’t do very well.

They managed a 50% correctness rate, which would be the result if they’d just guessed, according to the laws of chance (and who are we to argue with the laws of chance?)

Psychologist Professor Richard Wiseman, who was the boss of the whole affair, said: “These are remarkable results. People were unable to tell expensive from inexpensive wines, and so in these times of financial hardship the message is clear – the inexpensive wines we tested tasted the same as their expensive counterparts.”

As a sort of celebration, we’re going to take this evidence a step further and lose ourselves in a haze of cheap cooking sherry this weekend.


  • Alexis
    Hold on -didn't they do this on some psychology show on Channel 4 about 3 years ago?
  • Boris
    I find that drinking at a rate of one bottle per hour while I am awake means that it doesn't matter how expensive anything is (not just wine). Mmmm, wine. Now where did I put that "Kate and the Big Wilie" video.
  • klingelton
    And im sure the makers of expensive plonk are now cursing this study for single handedly ruining their busniess. It's the iPhone all over again - people don't buy because it's the best, they buy because they're cunts!
  • Rumplestiltskin
    This test was done at the Edinburgh Science Festival? In Scotland? What do the Scots know about wine? Give them mentholated spirits and they're happy. It's like asking a blind man to test televisions to see which looks the best. Idiots.
  • Kevin
    If you ask any normal person to test wines they'd not know the difference. Why is this a surprise?

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