January 15, 2008


The higher the price, the more we like it: Researchers use wine tasting to show how marketing tactics can trick the brain to find more enjoyment in costlier products. (Denise Gellene, 1/15/08, Los Angeles Times)

When it comes to wine tasting, pleasure is in the price.

Using brain scanners to monitor the minds of wine drinkers, scientists found that people given two identical red wines got more pleasure from tasting the one they were told cost more.

Here's all you have to know about wine: the French take pride in it.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 15, 2008 9:14 AM

I think you'd get identical results for a wide range of products (think water, beer, etc.) for the vast majority of people (perhaps excluding "supertasters."

Posted by: The Other Brother at January 15, 2008 9:52 AM

Seems like most of the great world civilizations made wine where grapes would grow. British probably would have if they could. They have a thriving wine industry these days.

PS - Why communion with wine and not beer?

Posted by: Rick T. at January 15, 2008 9:57 AM

Decent folk use grape juice for communion.

Posted by: oj at January 15, 2008 12:12 PM

So Jesus was indecent?

Posted by: ted welter at January 15, 2008 1:54 PM

I was raised Methodist, and we used the grape juice. First time I attended an Episcopal service (as part of the Episcopal Youth group, b/c all the kids in my church were either much older or much younger than I), first I was perplexed by the funny-tasting wafer that stuck to my tongue. Then I saw the cup being passed, and took a little extra larger sip to loosen up that wafer -- only to discovery that it was actual wine!! I almost spewed it out over the rail in surprise, but, thankfully, recovered.

Posted by: Twn at January 15, 2008 2:57 PM

Snob appeal is not news, but it is funny to see in others.
Not ourselves, of course; we are not snobs. ;)

Posted by: Mikey at January 15, 2008 4:57 PM

We focus on the wine? In this story?!

Once again we have proof that man is not rational, but merely rationalizing.

We need to study why the wonderous cerebral cortex is mostly used to enshrine and protect stupidity.

Posted by: Bruno at January 15, 2008 9:08 PM

About 3 months ago, I thought the juice looked a little pale. It turned out to be cranberry juice! I guess the deacons got a mite confused.

Ted - good question.

Of course, on high school church camping trips, I have taken communion with soda and saltines.....

Posted by: jim hamlen at January 16, 2008 8:49 AM

The study confirmed, via MRI, there was more activity in the pleasure centers of the brain when the particpant thought the wine cost more per bottle.

So the pleasure was real but isn't that what self dillusion is for be it in the form of wine or grape juice?

Posted by: Perry at January 16, 2008 11:05 AM