New Jersey wine is delicious if you don’t know it’s from New Jersey
Does all wine taste relatively the same, or could you tell the difference between wine from New Jersey and wine from the best regions in France?
According to results from a recent blind tasting featuring 9 wine “experts”, wine from New Jersey and that of the finest French châteaus were nearly undistinguishable.
If most people can’t tell the difference between Château Mouton Rothschild (retail: seven hundred and twenty-five dollars) and Heritage BDX (thirty-five dollars from the winery), then why do we splurge on premiers crus? Why not drink Jersey grapes instead? It seems like a clear waste of money
The answer returns us to the sensory limitations of the mind. If these blind testings teach us anything, it’s that for the vast majority of experts and amateurs fine-grained perceptual judgments are impossible.
As a result, if we think a wine is cheap, then it will taste cheap. And if we think we are tasting a premier cru, then we will taste a premier cru.
It’s not that those new French oak barrels or carefully pruned vines don’t matter—it’s that the logo on the bottle and price tag often matter more.
The next time you purchase wine, let someone else do the ordering so you have no clue as to price and where it’s from.
Or follow Lehrer’s advice and “buy some wine from New Jersey. But if you really want to maximize the pleasure of your guests, put a fancy French label on it. Those grapes will taste even better.”
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