I'll be honest: I've never really 'got' wine. I don't mind the taste but I've never understood how there are some bottles on restaurant menus which cost an absolute fortune. I've tasted some cheap wine and some seriously expensive stuff, and sometimes will opt for the more affordable option.
While some might criticise me for having a shitty palate, it appears that a more highly-priced wine doesn't necessarily equal a better taste.
The International Wine Challenge, dubbed the Academy Awards for wine, was recently held at the Hilton Hotel on London's Park Lane, and there were some interesting entries.
Discount supermarket Aldi won six silver medals for their vinos, outperforming wines that are double and sometimes triple their price. One of the big award surprises was the chain's Exquisite Collection Côtes de Provence 2016, mainly because it retails for £5.99.
The rosé was commended on its flavours of 'strawberry, white fruit and subtle spice'. Tony Baines, Joint Managing Director of Corporate Buying at the supermarket chain, has told the Sun: "Being recognised yet again for the quality of our wine is testament to the hard work our talented buying team put in to deliver exceptional products at unbeatable prices.
"It has been a huge year for innovation at Aldi. We've not only expanded our sparkling range, but also introduced a brand new French initiative.
"We have been working closely with renowned winemaker Jean Claude Mas to change perceptions around French wine, which is often perceived as expensive and intimidating, so it is fantastic to see some of these products acknowledged as some of the best in the world."
The other silver awards that Aldi snatched from its competitors included The Wine Foundry Godello 2016, The Exquisite Collection Rias Baixas Albarino 2016, Tudor Shiraz 2014, Veuve Monsigny Champagne and Phillippe Crémant Du Jura 2014. Aldi also nabbed nine bronze medals and were commended on 13 other drops.
There have been numerous studies conducted on wine and their tasters, and often it has not fared well for the industry.
In 2001, French student Frédéric Brochet dyed white wine red and gave glasses to 54 expert wine tasters and - you guessed it - they thought it was red wine. In his PhD dissertation he noted: "The subjects smell the wine, make the conscious act of odour determination and verbalize their olfactory perception by using odour descriptors. However, the sensory and cognitive processes were mostly based on the wine colour."
Another study, from Stanford GSB and the California Institute of Technology, found that a person will think a wine is better if it's more expensive. Participants were given two glasses of the same wine, but were told one costs $5 and the other $45. Researchers could see the pleasure part of the brain become more active when the person thought they were enjoying a more expensive glass of wine.
So the next time you're wandering through the aisle at your local supermarket, just pick up whatever one you want and tell your friends it was pretty costly.
Featured Image Credit: Aldi