Wine drinkers will pay more for fancy names on a bottle

A marketing study by a wine researcher in Canada suggests the name on the label of a wine bottle can have a substantial impact on how much the drinker enjoys the taste, and more pertinently, how much the consumer is willing to pay.

In a series of controlled tests by Dr Antonia Mantonakis from Ontario’s Brock University, participants were asked to taste various wines, and then report on how much they liked and were willing to pay for each bottle.

The results offer an interesting insight into the role that assumptions play in how and why people choose their wine, suggesting that taste is actually secondary to appearance.

“Participants not only reported liking the taste of the wine better if it was associated with a difficult to pronounce winery name.” Mantonakis explained to “But they also reported about a $2 increase in willingness to pay.”

Intriguingly, the results suggested that the more Mantonakis’ test subjects knew about wine, the more inclined they were into thinking that wines with difficult-to-pronounce names were more expensive.

Participants who consider themselves discerning drinkers were, according to the report at least, more likely to make the assumption that if “something is rare and unique [in name] then maybe it might be a higher value and it maybe something that is more special.”

The report surmised that educated wine drinkers would willingly pay more for a bottle of wine if it purported to be a good one, even if in reality, it was fancy in name alone. Wines with amusing or simple names tended to draw in the so called ‘low knowledge consumers’ who were merely looking for comfort and familiarity.

Of those consumers, Mantonakis added: “Does it look interesting? And if it looks interesting it might be fun and it might be the kind of wine I'm looking for."

CellarVie Wines says: The aforementioned study evidently shines a light on the power of marketing but perhaps also the simplicity of the human brain. We suggest you stick with the old mantra ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ or more crassly, 'assumption is the mother of all f ups’ and let your palate decide.

Why not try:

Rully Blanc 1er Cru Clos la Bressande 2007, Château de Rully, Domaine Rodet - Sounds good, tastes even better. 


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