With the barbecues of summer upon us, I thought I would point the GeekMom readership to some game-changing research published recently in that beloved journal of oenophiles worldwide, The New York Post:
British psychologist Richard Wiseman asked 578 visitors to the Edinburgh Science Fair to taste eight pairs of wine, evenly divided between red and white. In each pair, one wine cost significantly more than the other. Yet, overall, the tasters correctly identified the wines by price barely half the time — in effect, a random outcome.
Summing up the results [of a second experiment], lead researcher Evan Goldstein wrote, “Our main finding is that individuals who are unaware of price do not, on average, derive more enjoyment from more expensive wine. In fact, unless they are experts, they enjoy more expensive wine slightly less.”
In short (the research says), the single biggest player in the wine-tasting experience might not be price or grape varietal, it might be context. Are you having an excellent time at this barbecue? Then, oh my, but this wine is delicious–it must have cost your host a fortune!
With this in mind, I ask you to reconsider the much-maligned box wine. My local wine shop offers a line of box wines that are tasty, often organic, and grown by small, independent vineyards interested in reducing the carbon footprints of their businesses. Two of my personal favorites are Bluebird’s Pinot Noir ($18-$22 for the equivalent of 3 bottles of wine), sold in a no-glass,”boat-friendly” pouch (note to self: make friends with someone who owns a boat), and Bota Box’s Old Vine Zinfandel. A 3 litre Bota Box costs approximately $20 and is the equivalent of four bottles of wine: just think of all the landfill space my new boat-owning friends and I won’t be using!
Yet another advantage of box wine is that since it is vacuum-packed, oxidation occurs at a much slower rate, with the result that box wine stays palatable for up to four weeks longer than bottled wine.
Anyone part of the box wine revolution? Feel free to leave your favorites in the comments.