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.
17 replies on “Wine and Happiness”
Welcome back Daphne!
I can relate – I’m just starting to get back into blogging after a verrrryy long hiatus. And I love this! Will definitely share it 🙂
It’s nice to have a companion on the ‘back into blogging’ category 🙂 We should connect more often and exchange notes!
Love wine but hate the headache so started drinking organic wine – all the bliss and no pain:)
You’ve only posted 2 articles this year. Strangely, I feel depressed by this. 🙁
Hope to hear more from you soon.
Thank you for this post, it was a great read and what an amazing lesson to live life by 🙂
You’ve summarised the point of the post perfectly! Happiness truly is a matter of perspective, and we do have control over how we choose to experience wine and life 🙂
Thanks for your comment!
This is great! I loved the study about the mixed-up price tags of cheap and expensive wines and how the same wine tasted better when you’re having a good time. It shows that our happiness is all a matter of perspective. The more we expect to gain happiness from something, the more we experience it. I guess this is related to being aware of what makes us happy, therefore taking control of our lives being relatively happier. By being mindful of ourselves, we are able to identify what will make us move forward to a happier and generally better way of living.
Thanks for sharing, Daphne! I didn’t know that before. It must be the reason why one champagne tasted better than the other when I was having a holiday and a good time 😉
Thanks Tess and Joyce!
What a fun and interesting post with a nice ending! Makes sense to me.
Thanks so much for your comment, Angela. Yes I received your earlier message but replied rather late to it. Good to know that your boyfriend enjoys the wine and you enjoy the bottles. That’s what they call a synergistic partnership! 🙂
Yippeee! Finally something NEW from you. I don’t know if you got the message I had sent you asking when you would be posting something new. Anyway, not a wine drinker but my boyfriend is. Depending on our budget dictates which wine he gets – but the bottom line is, no matter what he gets, he sits down and ENJOYS it 🙂 And I love the awesome bottles that it comes in. We keep them and use a lot of them for water jugs as our car’s radiator is like a shower (lol). Thanks for the awesome post and I look forward to one really soon…
Thanks JD! Yes the market seems to be easily fooled 🙂
Betsy, thank you for your comment and being here!
Tamsin, you’ve always been a supporter and I’m always grateful. Wow I didn’t know you used to work with a wine company. You’re even more cool than I realised 🙂 Yes I’ve been very absorbed with the recent elections in Singapore but now life goes back to normal and it’s nice to be posting again. Hugs and kisses, my faraway friend!
I like your surprising insights.
There’s always a gap between intrinsic and market value, and the trick is to be mindful of the gap.
GREAT to see your post in my reader this morning Daphne! Made me smile as my first job, way back when, was working in a wine company and it taught me early on that the price of wine does not necessarily determine taste and enjoyment. In fact, blind tastings, as you say, often throw up fabulous tasting wines, which might not have been considered has the price been known!
As you rightly say, if you want to enjoy your life take an interest in it, relax and be happy. I do hope you’re enjoying life, I keep up with you on Facebook, but it’s always lovely to see your posts!
ATB for now
I really enjoyed this post about wine. I loved the study about expensive vs. cheap wines. And we have definitely liked wines better at times and not so much at other times.