Choosing what wine to order can be a tricky choice. New evidence suggests that wine descriptions can make you pick a pricier bottle but is it worth it?

Be honest, when you choose a bottle of wine do you actually know what you are looking for?

Most of use rely on wine descriptions or the price and name of the bottle. Some might pay attention to the region but lets face it, we’ve all been won over by a fancy looking bottle.

According to former Waitrose boss Mark Price, the best value wine to go for is one that costs a tenner! But when it comes to choosing the best tasting wine it seems the description is very important.

We often go for the wine that has a flowery description with elaborate language and intricate details. It turns out these wines also taste better, or at least we think they do…

How important are wine descriptions?

wine descriptions

A new study has revealed that the same wine can appear to taste better if matched with a better description on the label.

According to researchers from the University of Adelaide, wines with elaborate descriptions had a positive influence on people’s willingness to drink.

The researchers asked 126 wine drinkers (if only we had seen this job application!) to sample three popular Australian white wines. In the first blind test all three wines had no descriptions attached. The participants were given six wines to test a week later. They were not told it was the same wine.

Three of the wines were given simple descriptions such as “pale yellow”. The other three were given more complex descriptions including phrases like “refreshing lemon and lime fruits” and “delicate jasmine flower aromas”. The results were consistent across all three original wines.

The researchers published their findings in the Food Research International journal. They said: “The elaborate information level evoked higher expectations before tasting the wines, plus resulted in higher liking ratings and elicitation of more intense positive and less negative emotions.” The wine descriptions also led to more willingness to pay. People were a third more likely to buy the wines with lengthy descriptions.

So next time you buy a bottle of wine maybe try to look past the label. Thinking a wine will taste nicer simply because of the description could be costing you more!