Why You Shouldn't Bother Splurging on Fancy Wine
Most of us can't actually taste the subtleties in pricier bottles: study
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 6, 2012 1:29 PM CST
Updated Mar 10, 2012 7:00 PM CST

(Newser) – Ever wondered why you can't quite detect those hints of vanilla and cardamom touted in a pricey bottle of wine? A new study finds that wine experts—like the wine writer who likely informed you of that cardamom in the first place—simply have a better sense of taste than most of the rest of us. Hundreds of wine drinkers sampled a chemical that gauges a person's reaction to bitter tastes, and the wine experts were found to be around 40% more sensitive than casual wine drinkers, NPR reports.

Of course, practice is one reason wine experts get so good at tasting nuances and subtleties. But the study fits with the idea, formulated by prior research, that some "supertasters" are simply more sensitive to begin with. "Wine shopping can be confusing and overwhelming," one wine writer acknowledges. Wine ratings can help you narrow down your options, but "every critic has his or her own taste. So the same wine might garner wildly differing scores from a variety of critics."

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Mar 13, 2012 9:52 AM CDT
bring back laudanum
Mar 11, 2012 12:40 AM CST
Whatever the consumer likes is the best wine. Cold sparkling wine is underrated. There was a time that Calif. wines got a bad rap. If you don't want the concentrated alcohol level it IS OK to water it down with club soda and ice. Think about it if you're driving later.
Mar 10, 2012 9:42 PM CST
As someone who used to entertain and be entertained on expense accounts, I have had numerous expensive wines. Some were phenomenal; some tasted like what you would expect a wino with a paper bag to be drinking. Now that I am off an expense account, I drink many cheap - or cheaper - wines. Some are phenomenal; some taste like what you would expect a wino with a paper bag to be drinking. Bottom line: I don't think price is a good predictor for flavor.