As neither a wine connoisseur nor a French speaker, when looking at bottles of wine I could not tell you which one is fit for royalty and which one might as well come in a box. A recent study commissioned by Aldi tells me I am not alone in my lack of wine bottle understanding. Aldi partnered with Oxford University food psychologist Charles Spence to find out how people judge quality when choosing wine, reports Wales Online.
The most interesting discovery was that most people judge wine based on its price and the look of the label. At the same time, people in a blind taste test couldn’t tell the difference between a more expensive wine and a cheap wine. Personally, I like my wine sweet. What you call grape juice is what I call a glass of happiness, so any dry red seems too expensive for my taste. It’s also important to remember that a bottle of wine with a larger price tag, doesn’t necessarily make the wine better quality.
When it came to the look of the label, though, the study found that placing an image of a French chateau on the bottle easily convinced consumers that the wine was “premium quality.” I guess if I saw a huge mansion and a name I couldn’t pronounce printed on a bottle of wine, I’d think it was something special as well. I’d like to find the holy grail of wines: under $20, tastes great and not well-known so I look like I have more wine knowledge than I do.
Even the way a bottle is sealed plays a role in how shoppers might perceive it. The Aldi study showed that 25% of people think a wine bottle with a cork indicates higher quality than a screw-off cap. Once again this proves my lack of pretense when it comes to wine, because all I think when I see a screw on cap is, “Wow, how convenient! I don’t have to embarrass and possibly injure myself uncorking this drink.”
Lesson learned here: Don’t judge a wine by the fanciness of its label. Thanks, Aldi! But if you really have to make your wine purchase based on the label, here’s the best way to do it.