February 25, 2024


Is a hundred dollar bottle of wine really better than a five dollar bottle of wine? Maybe, but thinking your wine cost a hundred dollars can make you enjoy it more.

So, if you want to make sure your in-laws love the wine, tell them it was expensive. Research from the California Institute of Technology supports that.

In the Cal Tech study, subjects were given the exact same wine in two bottles and told that they sold for drastically different prices. Subjects invariably enjoyed the more expensive wine.

The new discipline of neuroeconomics aims to understand the subconscious appeal of luxury products. During their experiments, the Cal Tech researchers observed changes in the medio orbito-frontal cortex of subjects, which plays a role in our experiences of pleasure. The cortex became activated by wines subjects were told were expensive, indicating that the pleasure perceived was real and subjects were not reporting based on peer pressure or any other external influence.

For your reference, here are a few clever ways to let drop that the wine you are serving is expensive.

“I hope you like this wine, it cost enough.”

“It was a little over budget, but when I tasted this, I had to get some.”

“I should keep this bottle. It cost more than that crystal vase.”

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