Monday, 17 January 2011

Morning Scepticism: Wine Experience

In learning a little about the experience of wine, I've learned that psychology plays a big role in the experience. The perception of quality as indicated by the price can change the experience. That initially got me concerned, and I now whenever possible try to taste a wine without knowing how much it costs. But upon thinking about it, I can't understand why. It shouldn't matter whether the experience of good wine is a psychological trick or something that comes from the way the wine interacts with your senses. Is an experience somehow less significance if its influenced by culture and the desire for status? I'm glad personally that I can get wines I like for about $10-$15 a bottle and I don't think that there's much value in buying more expensive wines. But if people get their pleasure from the status of drinking an expensive wine, I can't see the problem with that. There's no intrinsic value to the wine by which the experience should be judged, the value comes from the perceptual experience - including psychological factors.

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