The Wine Trials is the essential under-$15 wine guide that shook the wine world to its core by proving that, in brown-bag blind tastings, people really preferred cheaper wines to more expensive ones.
It all began as a blind-tasting academic experiment: Could everyday wine drinkers tell the difference between cheap and expensive wine? When the results, showing that drinkers couldn’t tell the difference, were published, the wine world lit up with controversy. The Wine Trials 2012, by Robin Goldstein and Alexis Herschkowitsch, is the brand-new fourth edition of the wine guide that grew out of this experiment, challenged the wine establishment, and revealed the widely available wines under $15 that beat out wines costing up to ten times as much.
The 2012 edition is the biggest and most informative, with full-page reviews of 175 all-new wines for 2012, based on completely new blind tastings of the latest vintages. Each review includes a cheeky, unpretentious discussion of each wine’s flavors and aromas, and a photo of the bottle for easy identification. It also includes an updated version of the “blind tasting manifesto,” which explains how the power of price-based expectations dominates our experiences of wine; challenges the validity of glossy wine magazines’ 100-point numerical ratings; and explains how to beat the placebo effect and unlock our palates. As The New York Daily News writes, it is “a powerful piece of advice to consumers: like what you like, not what you think you should like.”
Robin Goldstein has written for more than 30 Fodor's travel guides and has contributed to the blog Freakonomics. He is educated in neuroscience, philosophy, and law and has obtained certificates from the French Culinary Institute and the Wine & Spirit Education Trust. He is the founder and editor of the Fearless Critic series and the coauthor of The Beer Trials. He lives in Oakland, California. Alexis Herschkowitsch is the coauthor of five Fearless Critic restaurant guides and a contributor to Fodor’s travel guides. She has a WSET advanced wine and spirits certificate. Tyce Walters is a student at the Yale Law School and a graduate of Yale University, where he founded the wine journal Vino/Veritas: The Yale Wino. He has also worked as a wine retail consultant and served as editor of the Yale Philosophy Review.
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