How to Determine Wine Quality with a Mathematical Equation

Numbers people are constantly trying to pin down wine in some logical way. In the latest attempt, economists say they’ve found the equation for calculating wine quality. In a report on how big data could be helpful to the average wine collector, Forbes says the equation could be useful to those wanting to “determine if 2013 will be a good year for cabernet because you want to invest in wine futures or want to place an early order for a few cases of the good stuff from your wine merchant.” Orley Ashenfelter who came up the equation thought it was worth it to swish, spit and run the numbers: Wine quality = 12.145 / 0.00117 * Winter Rainfall + 0.0614 average growing season temp – 0.00386 harvest rainfall. The formula accurately predicted the “Wines of the Century” for 1989 and 1990.

While Robert Parker laughs at Ashenfelter’s approach, saying, “I’d hate to be invited to his house to drink wine,” there’s no denying its allure. The system obviously doesn’t account for personal taste, but try doing the math on your favorite wines to see how they measure up. [Forbes]