The latest cork industry study claims we don’t care about quality, but only about the romance of the cork
Corks almost always score better than screwcaps in consumer surveys, which can usually be explained by the source of the survey: the cork industry. Hence this study, also paid for by the cork industry, but that actually sheds light on all this foolishness. The reason so many of us claim to prefer corks? It’s not the quality of the wine, but the sound of the cork popping.
Can the wine business get any screwier?
British researchers asked 140 people to rate two identical wines. They tasted one wine after hearing the sound of a cork popping and one wine after hearing a screwcap being opened. They were then asked to actually open both bottles and rate the wines again. Overall, reports thedrinksbusiness trade magazine, participants rated the same wine as 15 percent better when served under a cork than a screwcap.
Again, these were the same wines, and the only difference was the sound played when the wine was tasted. Or, as the study’s lead researcher said: “The sound and sight of a cork being popped sets our expectations before the wine has even touched our lips, and these expectations then anchor our subsequent tasting experience.”
So nuts to what the wine tastes like. Bring on the cork popping!
Which raises yet another question – why would the cork business claim wine drinkers don’t care about quality, but only the sound of the cork? That’s incredibly cynical, even for the wine business.
The other thing to note here? Several people will cancel their email subscription to the blog after they read this, which happens every time I find corks lacking. Which then makes me wonder if the study is really on to something.