A bottle of wine's price tag can influence drinkers' palates, according to a new study by the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the California Institute of Technology.
If a person is told they are tasting two different wines and that one costs $5 and the other $45 when they actually are the same wine, the part of the brain that experiences pleasure will become more active when the drinker thinks they are enjoying the more expensive vintage, the study states.
"What we document is the price is not just about influences of quality, but it can actually affect real quality," said Baba Shiv, professor of marketing at Stanford.
Shiv was among a group of researchers who used functional magnetic resonance imaging to conduct the study. They tested the subjects as they swallowed several different Cabernet Sauvignons through a pump attached to their mouths.
Eleven male graduate students at the California Institute of Technology participated in the study.