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Too bad the test was with undergraduates, and not experts in the field for 20-30 years.



More data for you:

http://www.felixsalmon.com/2009/01/wine-tasting-datapoint-of...

http://www.felixsalmon.com/2007/11/pinot-contest/

My own personal experience is that wine + food is most interesting. Both the wine and the food can change their taste substantially when paired well. But it's very rare that I can find a wine that I can stand in quantities to drink without food.

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Most people are not "experts in the field for 20-30 years". They are not even as well-trained as the undergraduates in the article.

This kind of experiment has been done before -- serving water from a garden hose in fancy spring water bottles, serving fast food on a plate in a restaurant, etc. People pretty much always assume the presentation is accurate. They think they can taste the melting glaciers in the hose water, and that the salad from Wendy's is a healthy, high-quality item was lovingly prepared by a master chef in the kitchen just for them.

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I partially agree with you but I don't think it is helpful to draw conclusions from one field and apply them on the other. It could well be that bottled water is a scam and it is no different from the garden hose water and at the same time one wine is very different from another. For example I can pretty reliably distinguish soft drinks sweetened with cane sugar, HFCS and aspartame. The first I like, and the second and the third I hate. No amount of packaging or expectation can change that. I assume the same applies to those who really know wine.

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Cane sugar and hfcs are chemically nearly identical - glucose and fructose in water. Can you tell the difference in a blind trial?

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The second experiment involved experts and they were still fooled by their expectations.

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