Should the Average Drinker Care About a Wine’s Origin?

Blind Tasting

Should the average drinker care about where his or her wine is from? It’s a question Joe Pinsker for The Atlantic (who would admittedly rather spend his money on craft beer) asks as a plea for the everyman’s pocketbook. Big box wines and releases from lesser known domestic markets are, naturally, cheaper than their premium counterparts from well known places like California or France, and Pinsker proffers that the prestige of a winemaker or region shouldn’t always concern the average consumer. Their enjoyment—he argues—is shaped by prices and the opinions wine professionals bestow upon wines, not their own subjective opinions.

He cites a study published just last month in the Journal of Wine Economics by Robert H. Ashton whereby a subject’s enjoyment of wine from New Jersey decreased once they knew these wines were from New Jersey. Another by Ashton illustrates that some drinkers’ opinions also correspond with prices (though a deeper look at the studies shows that this is not consistent amongst all groups).

As with all things bought and sold, price will most certainly dictate some consumers’ perception of whatever it is they’re eating, wearing or drinking, but the curious and discerning buyer has the option to—no matter professional status—form opinions with the information at hand, both subjective and empirical. [The Atlantic] [Image: Flickr/d2fang]