Giving Wine a Fussy Name Makes Snobs Think it Tastes Better

Illustration for article titled Giving Wine a Fussy Name Makes Snobs Think it Tastes Better

Wine snobs, get ready to have that discerning amateur sommelier palate you so pride yourself on brought down a few notches. According to science, the more people think they know about wine, the easier it is to trick them into drinking crap by naming it something that sounds fancy.


This monocle-popping announcement comes after a simple marketing experiment performed by Canadian researchers, who found that giving wine a more difficult to pronounce or complicated-looking name (like, say, "Arglebarglegargle" versus, say, "Yum Juice") would prompt consumers to pay around two bucks more per bottle. In addition, consumers reported enjoying the taste of wine that sounded fancier more, and the bigger a "wine snob" they claimed to be, the more likely they were to be swayed by the wine's name. It simply sounds more highbrow to say "My, but that Blaufrankisch was delightfully complex, Jeeves!" than it does to say, "Jeeves, please fetch me more of that Frog's Piss. Mommy had a rough day." (In this case, Jeeves is the name of the wind drinking woman's kid, not her butler.)

But, as evidenced by the quality gap between, say, the fancy named Brigitte Bardot the less fancy named Meryl Streep, just because something sounds like it originated from one of Europe's pricier countries doesn't mean that quality has followed. In fact, according to the gentle wine-drinking tote bag carrying pinkos at NPR, plenty of cheapy, cheekily named brands of wine — like Cupcake or Fat Bastard, for example — consistently rank right up there with names that many culturally aspirational Americans would be reduced to pointing to on a menu to avoid the embarrassment of mispronouncing it in front of the wait staff.