I love wine books that are fresh, easy to digest, and challenges your personal beliefs or thoughts about wine. The Wine Trials 2010, in a nutshell, tries its best to answer one simple, yet difficult question:
“Do expensive wines taste better than cheap wines?”
According to the results of a rigorous study conducted by Robin Goldstein & Alexis Herschkowitsch, the authors of The Wine Trials 2010, the answer was a resounding – NO. The majority of wine drinkers that participated in the Wine Trials’ blind tastings actually preferred the taste of wines costing between $6 and $15 over those costing $50 or more.
Yep, sounds kind of funny and made up. However, in a series of blind tastings conducted around the country, with more than 6,000 glasses of wine poured from brown bagged bottles, and three book pages full of willing and ready tasters up for the challenge – the cheap stuff came out on top!
Before the authors unveil there killer values, the first 58 pages of The Wine Trials 2010 is dedicated to providing readers with all the necessary “nuts and bolts” that went into the actual experiment. Within these pages, it also explores the psychological side of why we all have the tendency to associate cost with a particular level of quality – The Placebo Effect, as it’s called. In this particular scenario, “A more expensive wine must taste better than a cheaper one”. Before turning the spotlight on the wines themselves, the authors also weigh in on the industry and the folks that write about it. Without giving away any juicy details, you’ll see why at least one of these industry movers would have much rather gone unmentioned in this book. Finally, the authors get on with the show and take you for a ride with the 150 value wines that they say beat out the pricier stuff. To this point, my only real beef with The Wine Trials 2010 is that the authors fail to reveal the identity of all of the expensive wines that bit the dust against their Top 150 values. The only high dollar wines that are mentioned in the book are Dom Pérignon, Beringer, Cakebread, Veuve Clicquot and a Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru from Louis Latour. Which leads me to assume that these wines were only mentioned because they were the most recognizable high-end wine names?
Overall, I found The Wine Trials 2010 to be a great read! It’s like getting two books for the price of one: The Wine Trials Story and a guide with 150 wines under $15. Several, if not many, of the value wines recommended in it are truly outstanding and certainly worth trying. Pick up a copy, keep it in your car glove box and pull it out each time you go wine shopping. At the very least, it’ll give you some very affordable picks that you might have otherwise passed on merely because of the price tag.