Women more affected by price of wine than men

Tue May 5, 2009 11:52am EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Leslie Gevirtz

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - How much does the price of a bottle of wine matter? Quite a lot - to women.

Researchers from the Stockholm School of Economics and Harvard University set out to determine whether knowing how much a bottle of wine cost would affect what people thought of the taste.

They found that disclosing the expensive price of a wine before people tasted it produced considerably higher ratings, although only from women.

"I was surprised. The men didn't seem to be affected by the price. It might be the way men relate to wine. But the women reacted very strongly to a high price," said Johan Almenberg, of Harvard University, who conducted the study among 266 volunteers in Boston.

The volunteers tasted one of two Portuguese red wines, one cost $5 a bottle and one $40. One-third of the people tasted the wine without knowing the price, one-third was told the price before the tasting, and one-third learned the price afterwards.

All of the tasters were told to rate the wine on a scale that ranged from undrinkable to perfection.

The researchers, whose findings were published by the American Association of Wine Economists, said only women assigned considerably higher ratings when they were told they were about to drink the expensive wine.

In the blind tasting, the average rating from both sexes was slightly higher for the cheaper wine than for the more expensive, showing that most people do not prefer expensive wines.   Continued...