Do wine and happiness go together? We tend to associate drinking with depression and addiction. Yet in moderation, wine can be part of a happy life. You just need to when to drink it. And more importantly, when not to.
Here’s an added bonus for wine drinkers. You can save a lot of money once you know these facts. Saving money usually makes us happy. So you see, wine and happiness do go together 🙂
Fact #1: The price of a wine makes no difference to its taste, but the perception of its price does.
A recent study showed that most people cannot tell expensive wines from cheap ones. When they are not told the prices of the wines, they don’t enjoy the taste of expensive wines more. In fact, a slight majority rated expensive wines as tasting worse.
The researchers then mixed up the labels randomly. Expensive wines labelled cheaply and cheap wines given high price tags. Most people now rated the ‘expensive’ wines better. The expectation of a good wine led to greater enjoyment of it. Its true price was irrelevant.
Does this mean we should all buy cheap wines from now on? Not exactly. It means we enjoy our wine better if we have a positive expectation of it. Such positive expectations can be created not merely by price. Instead, you could learn more about the origin and history of the wine. This will dispose you positively towards it.
“Our beliefs often matter more than the grapes.” – Richard Wiseman
Fact #2: The same wine tastes better when you’re relaxed and happy
I once attended a dinner where a sommelier was present to introduce the various wines to us. The first wine was from a small village in Italy. I casually asked if the wine would taste different if we drank it there compared to here in Singapore. Her answer surprised me.
“Yes,” she said, “the wine would taste different back in Italy. Not because the wine itself was different but because you would be different. You would be on holiday, relaxed and happy. It is for this reason that the wine would taste better to you.”
She explained that couples on honeymoon would taste the wine at a vineyard, find it delightful, and buy a bottle to take home. A year later, to celebrate their first anniversary, they would open the wine. This time, however, they were no longer on holiday but in the middle of their busy and stressful life. They would go “Hmm… I remember it tasting much better.”
This sommelier had effectively told me the same thing as the study quoted above. The state of mind of the wine drinker has a lot more to do with the enjoyment of the wine than the wine itself. Two wine experts can’t be wrong!
Wine and happiness
So how can you best enjoy wine? You’ll be happy to know you don’t have to pay high prices to do so. You may also drink less if you follow these guidelines. That’s good for cutting calories!
First, create a positive expectation of what you are about to drink. Read about the vineyard it came from, a short history of its vintage and so on.
Secondly, drink it only when you are relaxed and happy. Our happy state of mind will influence our tastebuds. Any wine will taste better then.