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Price goggles

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Wine 24

Price goggles

alanbarnes | Nov 12, 2008 08:36 PM

A few weeks back, a friend brought a couple of bottles of wine to dinner. It was a Caves des Papes 2006 Cote du Rhone. The label had a negociant's address in Chateauneuf du Pape and no other identifying information.

It was pleasant enough stuff. We had one bottle that night, and a week or so later I opened the other bottle for a family dinner and enjoyed it even more because I gave it plenty of time to open up. I assumed that it was just another of the mid-priced Rhones that have always been great everyday reds.

Imagine my surprise when I saw it on the shelf at Trader Joe's for $4.99 a bottle. So now there are a couple of cases in the pantry. It's my current favorite - Recession Rhone. And now it seems to taste even better.

So here's the question: when you learn the price of a wine after you've tasted it, does that change your opinion of the stuff? And by the same token, to what extent does knowing the price of a wine before you taste it affect your perception of what you're drinking?

For me, a wine that was decent when I thought it cost ~$12 is delicious when I know it was only $5. On the other hand, knowing that I'm drinking a great wine makes me pay attention and enjoy it more than I would if I didn't know that it was something special.

Maybe this subject has already been beaten to death, but have you ever had an experience where the knowledge or ignorance of the price of a bottle of wine affected your perception of the wine itself?

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