Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance,
Stockholm School of Economics

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 ()
Additional contact information
Robin Goldstein: Fearless Critic Media, Postal: Fearless Critic Media, 2011B Bouldin Avenue, Austin TX 78704, USA
Johan Almenberg: Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics, Postal: Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, SE-113 83 Stockholm, Sweden
Anna Dreber: Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics, Postal: Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, SE-113 83 Stockholm, Sweden
John W. Emerson: Yale University, Postal: Department of Statistics , Yale University , P.O. Box 208290 , New Haven CT 06520-8290
Alexis Herschkowitsch: Fearless Critic Media, Postal: Fearless Critic Media, 2011B Bouldin Avenue, Austin TX 78704, USA
Jacob Katz: Fearless Critic Media, Postal: Fearless Critic Media, 2011B Bouldin Avenue, Austin TX 78704, USA

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

JEL-codes: L15; L66; M30; Q13

11 pages, First version: April 16, 2008. Revised: April 24, 2008.

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