Would You Be Fooled By A Wine Label?

Good morning! Happy Friday.

Today just happens to be a VERY special day in our house. It’s Dan’s birthday! He’s turning the big 3-1.


Dan and my dad at the Christmas Feast. Some serious crab legs!

It’s kind of funny, but I have never seen him dread a birthday before. I thought turning 30 for him would bring up some sort of emotions, but unlike all our friends, it didn’t. However, apparently 31 is. He says now he’s officially in his thirties and that’s a little harder to swallow than when he turned 30 flat.

Of course I continue to remind him that he’s married to a younger “twenty-something” (I only get to use this line for 1 year, 4 more months) and that that should lift his spirits.

Happy Birthday to my handsome husband! May we have many many many more to celebrate together.

In honor of Dan’s birthday, I feel it’s only appropriate to talk about one of his favorite things: Wine.

How Would You Handle The Wine Test?

screenshot_198I recently started to read Mindless Eating (which is great so far), they talk about food labs and tons of interesting studies. What makes people eat or not eat? What makes on meal more appetizing than the one beside it? And of course: why do we eat mindlessly?

In the very first chapter they talk about a study that really made me think: how would I react?

The study was done at a restaurant where guest were given complimentary wine upon being seated. The wine was a 2-buck Chuck (Charles Shaw), but they didn’t know that. The labels had been pealed off and in their place new ones were stuck on.

Half of the room received the wine with a label that said the wine was from a new winery in North Dakota. While the other side of the room had the same label but it said it was from California.

Now remember, both wines were actually the same.



What do you think happened?

I think we both can agree that North Dakota isn’t exactly known for it’s wine making skills. And the restaurant guests agreed.

Upon leaving, their time of stay was written down as well as how much wine they left in their class.

wine-pourThe results? The guests that had the California wine stayed longer and had better reviews to give of their overall visit to the restaurant. The N. Dakota drinkers, left in under an hour and called their entire experience mediocre.

The same wine… different labels… different outcomes.

Of course, I would like to think that I would enjoy the FREE wine equally, but who knows. But I also know that I notorious for choosing wine based on it’s label. I think it’s a women thing? Dan makes fun of me all the time. I like to pick the “pretty bottles”.

One thing I do know, is that I won’t buy a North Dakota Cabernet Sauvignon for Dan’s birthday feast tonight!

But I am open to suggestions.

How We Celebrate Birthdays?

Normally, we don’t buy each other gifts. Instead we take each other out to the restaurant of the birthday spouse’s desire. When I asked Dan where he wanted to go this year he gave me a simple request:

No where.

Instead he request a fancy meal at home, relaxing on the couch with good wine and just enjoying each other after such a busy holiday season.

On the menu? 

He wants

  • Bison steak (portabella mushroom for me)
  • Salad
  • Roasted veggies
  • Vegan chocolate lava cake

How do you choose wine?
What’s your favorite wine? 

Like I said, I choose wine by the label/bottle. If it’s pretty, I am much more likely to pick it up. Price point is also important… we have tried the cheap wines and the expensive wines and the stuff in the middle. We’ve found that we enjoy the $10-$15 bottles the best. Great taste but not too expensive.

My favorite? During the winter I always go with reds. I love a Shiraz or Grenache.  During the summer, I am all about vino verdes and sauvignon blanc.


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