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The Economic Research Institute, Stockholm School of Economics SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance

No 700:
Do More Expensive Wines Taste Better? Evidence from a Large Sample of Blind Tastings

Robin Goldstein (), Johan Almenberg (), Anna Dreber (), John W. Emerson (), Alexis Herschkowitsch () and Jacob Katz ()

Abstract: 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, or at any rate non-negative, correlation. 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 even further. Our results indicate that both the prices of wines and wine recommendations by experts may be poor guides for non-expert wine consumers.

Keywords: Wine; price/quality relation; expertise; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: L15; L66; M30; Q13; (follow links to similar papers)

11 pages, April 16, 2008, Revised April 24, 2008

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This paper is published as:
Goldstein, Robin, Johan Almenberg, Anna Dreber, John W. Emerson, Alexis Herschkowitsch and Jacob Katz, (2008), 'Do More Expensive Wines Taste Better? Evidence from a Large Sample of Blind Tastings', Journal of Wine Economics, Vol. 3, No. 1, pages 1-9



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