Wine taste test: Is $50 wine really better than $5 wine?

wine taste test fi

Do you fancy yourself something of a wine aficionado? An at-home sommelier? Well, we put our pallets to the test with a wine taste test. 

You might be the type of wine drinker who goes on vineyard tours. Or, hey, you might be the type who prefers to drink boxed wine while binge-watching Scandal on your sofa. Either way, we can probably all agree on at least two things: wine is good, and any empirical test that involves drinking it in the name of research is worth doing.

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Let’s brush up on a few tenets of wine tasting. Keep this in mind as you go from glass to glass — you might just prove to be more of a DIY sommelier than you even suspected.

Step one, look at the wine before you. Is it opaque? How’s the viscosity? Is the color vibrant? Sometimes you can tell the quality of a wine just by inspecting it visually.

Step two, smell it. Yep, be one of those people. Regardless of how expensive (or not) a wine is, the odor might clue you in to whether you’re going to love it or want to leave it.

Finally, step three, taste it! This is obviously the best part of building your wine palate.

For this experiment, we tested “upscale” and inexpensive versions of sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, pinot noir, and cabernet. But feel free to add in any other varieties your wine-loving heart wants. You can always cut down the cost by getting a group of friends together for this blind test. Just remember to drink responsibly.

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When all is said and done, you’ll likely walk away a little (or a lotta) wine drunk — but, more to the point of this experiment, you’ll realize that you can’t always judge a bottle of wine by its price tag.