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The journey from vine to wine takes a lot of hard work, careful coaxing to get out the flavors, years of patience and constant supervision. However, recent studies show that all that hard work could be put to waste by the color of the wine. Vine Vera examines the importance of color for a person when determining the overall quality of the wine and tries to answer just how much can the color influence a person’s perception of quality.
Vine Vera came across a study that was conducted by Dr. Jeannine Delwiche working for the Ohio State University in the year 2003. Dr. Delwiche took a bottle of Chardonnay and added some red coloring to the wine in order to make it resemble a rose wine. She also took some untreated white wine and a normal red wine and asked volunteers to sample all three. The results of the study showed that despite the fact that all three were Chardonnay, volunteers described the “so called rose wine” to be more fruity and less full-bodied than the red wine. Blind tasting experiments that were conducted before this test showed that the coloring did not change the flavor of the wine for the volunteers. This led to the conclusion that the flavors perceived matched the characteristics and flavors that a particular color is associated with. Another study that was conducted by researchers from the Lincoln University and University of Otago, New Zealand also showed that wine experts managed to identify red wine aromas in a bottle of Chardonnay that was colored red, even though they were not shown the color of the wine, because of their past experiences and in-depth knowledge. On the other hand, novices fared much worse when they couldn’t see the color of the wine.
Thus, the color certainly plays a huge role in influencing the perceived quality of a wine. But studies also showed that the color of the room in which the wine is being consumed can also influence perceived quality, aroma and flavors. According to a study conducted in the year 2009, participants tended to prefer the flavor of a Riesling under red or blue colored lighting. The same wine wasn’t appreciated as much when served under white or green colored lighting. Moreover, the study also showed that participants were more willing to spend a greater amount of money for their wine under red or blue colored lighting when compared to green or white colored lighting. One of the explanations that was offered for this discrepancy was the emotional experiences of the participants. Thus, an emotional experience is also responsible for changing the perceived flavor of a wine because of the effects of lighting.
Vine Vera further discovered that color’s influence on a person’s perception isn’t just restricted to wine. A study that appeared in the Flavour Journal examined the color and tactile characteristics of cutlery on the overall perceived quality of the yoghurt being served in it. The results showed that the yoghurt was believed to be of a higher quality when it was consumed using a light spoon. When the same study was related to wine, it was seen that people associated a heavier bottle and lighter glassware to a higher quality wine.
More research is required in the field before it can be determined just how much do things like color, surroundings and weight affect the perceived quality of wine, but there is no doubt that these things do play a huge role in affecting the perceived quality of the wine.