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Do More Expensive Wines Taste Better? Evidence From A Large Sample Of Blind Tastings


  • Goldstein, Robin
  • Almenberg, Johan
  • Dreber, Anna
  • Emerson, John W.
  • Herschkowitsch, Alexis
  • Katz, Jacob


Individuals who are unaware of the price do not derive more enjoyment from more expensive wine. In a sample of more than 6,000 blind tastings, we find that the correlation between price and overall rating is small and negative, suggesting that individuals on average enjoy more expensive wines slightly less. For individuals with wine training, however, we find indications of a positive relationship between price and enjoyment. Our results are robust to the inclusion of individual fixed effects, and are not driven by outliers: when omitting the top and bottom deciles of the price distribution, our qualitative results are strengthened, and the statistical significance is improved further. Our results indicate that both the prices of wines and wine recommendations by experts may be poor guides for non-expert wine consumers.

Suggested Citation

  • Goldstein, Robin & Almenberg, Johan & Dreber, Anna & Emerson, John W. & Herschkowitsch, Alexis & Katz, Jacob, 2008. "Do More Expensive Wines Taste Better? Evidence From A Large Sample Of Blind Tastings," Working Papers 37328, American Association of Wine Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aawewp:37328

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Edward Oczkowski, 1994. "A Hedonic Price Function For Australian Premium Table Wine," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 38(1), pages 93-110, April.
    2. Ali, Héla Hadj & Lecocq, Sébastien & Visser, Michael, 2010. "The Impact of Gurus: Parker Grades and en primeur Wine Prices," Journal of Wine Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(01), pages 22-39, March.
    3. Lecocq, Sébastien & Visser, Michael, 2006. "What Determines Wine Prices: Objective vs. Sensory Characteristics," Journal of Wine Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(01), pages 42-56, March.
    4. Landon, Stuart & Smith, Constance, 1997. "The Use of Quality and Reputation Indicators by Consumers: The Case of Bordeaux Wine," MPRA Paper 9283, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Gerard J. Tellis & Birger Wernerfelt, 1987. "Competitive Price and Quality Under Asymmetric Information," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 6(3), pages 240-253.
    6. G¸nter Schamel & Kym Anderson, 2003. "Wine Quality and Varietal, Regional and Winery Reputations: Hedonic Prices for Australia and New Zealand," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 79(246), pages 357-369, September.
    7. Quandt, Richard E., 2007. "On Wine Bullshit: Some New Software?," Journal of Wine Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(02), pages 129-135, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Caracciolo, Francesco & D’Amico, Mario & Di Vita, Giuseppe & Pomarici, Eugenio & Dal Bianco, Andrea & Cembalo, Luigi, 2016. "Private vs. Collective Wine Reputation," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA), vol. 19(3).
    2. Francisco B. Galarza & Gabriella Wong, 2017. "The Impact of Price Information on Consumer Behavior: An Experiment," Working Papers 2017-106, Peruvian Economic Association.
    3. Cross, Robin & Plantinga, Andrew J. & Stavins, Robert N., 2011. "The Value of Terroir: Hedonic Estimation of Vineyard Sale Prices," Journal of Wine Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(01), pages 1-14, January.
    4. Garavaglia, Christian & Marcoz, Elena Maria, 2014. "Willingness to pay for P.D.O. certification: an empirical investigation," International Journal on Food System Dynamics, International Center for Management, Communication, and Research, vol. 5(1).
    5. Robin Cross & Andrew J. Plantinga & Robert N. Stavins, 2011. "What Is the Value of Terroir?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 152-156, May.
    6. Almenberg, Johan & Dreber, Anna, 2011. "When Does the Price Affect the Taste? Results from a Wine Experiment," Journal of Wine Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(01), pages 111-121, January.
    7. Maya Bar-Hillel & Alon Maharshak & Avital Moshinsky & Ruth Nofech, 2012. "A rose by any other name: A social-cognitive perspective on poets and poetry," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 7(2), pages 149-164, March.
    8. Andreas C. Drichoutis & Stathis Klonaris & Georgia Papoutsi, 2016. "Do good things come in small packages? Willingness to pay for pomegranate wine and bottle size effects," Working Papers 2016-2, Agricultural University of Athens, Department Of Agricultural Economics.
    9. Friberg, Richard & Paterson, Robert W. & Richardson, Andrew D., 2011. "Why is there a Home Bias? A Case Study of Wine," Journal of Wine Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(01), pages 37-66, January.
    10. Zander, Katrin & Janssen, Meike, 2012. "Präferenzen Deutscher Öko-Konsumenten Für Wein," 52nd Annual Conference, Stuttgart, Germany, September 26-28, 2012 137175, German Association of Agricultural Economists (GEWISOLA).
    11. Maya Bar-Hillel & Alon Maharshak & Avital Moshinsky & Ruth Nofech, 2010. "Does a Rose by any other Name Smell as Sweet? A Cognitive Perspective on Poets and Poetry," Discussion Paper Series dp549, The Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
    12. Enax Laura & Weber Bernd, 2015. "Marketing Placebo Effects – From Behavioral Effects to Behavior Change?," Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization, De Gruyter, vol. 13(1), pages 15-31, January.

    More about this item


    wine quality; wire tasting; wine prices; Demand and Price Analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality
    • L66 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Food; Beverages; Cosmetics; Tobacco
    • M30 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Marketing and Advertising - - - General
    • Q13 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Markets and Marketing; Cooperatives; Agribusiness

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