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Your Brain Prefers Expensive Wine

I love when wine and science intersect. It makes me feel like I have a whiff of academia intermingling with all those fermented grape juice aromas. And if someone's reading over my shoulder and finds me in the midst of an in-depth perusal of a Forbes article entitled, "What Placebo Science Shows About the Importance of Marketing", then maybe they'll see me as having interests beyond the world of wine.

But I'd have them fooled.

Because this post by Roger Dooley has some very interesting things to say about how we perceive the quality of a wine based on price. Does it surprise me that someone, anyone, even probably me, when poured the same anonymous wine twice and only told it cost $5 and $45, would rate the latter as the better wine? Nope. But what really got my attention was Dooley's subsequent revelation that the more expensive wine "...actually lit up the pleasure center of their brains more. In short, it really did taste better to them."

Has our pleasure center been so infiltrated that we can put a dollar amount on what we will find delightful versus humdrum?

I think I need a glass of wine. Just don't tell me what it cost.

Jameson Fink has a decade of wine industry and blogging experience. Saveur Magazine nominated his site,, for a 2013 Best Food Blog Award in the Wine/Beer Category. He is a tireless advocate for year-round rosé consumption and enjoys a glass of Champagne alongside a bowl of popcorn.

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