Red, wine, and blue

Red, wine, and blue

German researchers have found that ambient light modifies the subjective value of wine:

Drinkers’ brains are tricked into thinking a glass of white wine is better and more expensive tasting when exposed to the red or blue background lighting than those in rooms with green or white background lighting. … They found the same wine was perceived as being nearly one-and-a-half times sweeter in red light than in white or green light.

Leigh Caldwell, researcher in behavioral economics, comments on the study:

[M]y view is somewhat challenged by the fact that the experiment used opaque black wine glasses to eliminate the direct effect of the light on the wine’s colour.

So, instead:

It would be interesting to test the emotional/mood hypothesis by affecting mood with sound instead of colour. I think the effect of sound on mood is much stronger than that of colour, but as far as I’m aware there is no known effect of sound on subjective perception of taste.

The original paper is quite accessible and worth a read.