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Sometimes Cheap is Good Enough

Costly or Cheap? Tasters Can't Tell the Difference

April 18, 2011

A blind taste test revealed that wine drinkers are not able to distinguish between cheap and expensive wines

Can you taste the difference between "Two-Buck Chuck" and an expensive vintage? A recent taste test conducted at the Edinburgh Science Festival revealed that many wine drinkers are not able to distinguish between cheap and expensive wines.

The blind taste test involved 578 members of the public and a variety of red and white wines, priced from £5 (approximately $8 USD) and under to £30 ($50 USD) vintages. The wines tasted at the Festival included both cheap and expensive bottles of Champagne, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Shiraz, Merlot, Rioja and Claret. Upon tasting the wines, participants were asked to identify the wine as either cheap or expensive. The responses were correct 50 per cent of the time, a level of accuracy in line with the laws of chance, which shows that the participants could not distinguish wines just by the taste.

In these hard times, the idea of an inexpensive wine taste-testing on par with an expensive glass of vino is an appealing one. Test yourself to see if your palate is as discerning as you think — if not, you could save money by buying less expensive bottles.'s top 10 wine lists can help with your money-saving selections.


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