By government definition, vodka is supposed to be a neutral alcohol without distinctive character, aroma, taste or color, and some believe that the differences among vodkas are so subtle that only connoisseurs can distinguish them. But a marketing genius and liquor baron named Sidney Frank decided in 1996 that with the right story line and marketing panache, Americans would buy steeply priced vodka. He came up with a refined name, Grey Goose, and a sleek bottle.That may be just marketing, but higher prices actually make wine taste better:
Researchers from the California Institute of Technology and Stanford's business school have directly seen that the sensation of pleasantness that people experience when tasting wine is linked directly to its price.Which leads to this anecdote from a long story about wine counterfeiting:
Rajat Parr, a prominent wine director who oversees restaurants in Las Vegas, told me that several years ago some of his customers ordered a bottle of 1982 Pétrus, which can sell in restaurants for as much as six thousand dollars. The party finished the bottle and ordered a second. But the second bottle tasted noticeably different, so they sent it back. The staff apologetically produced a third bottle, which the diners consumed with pleasure. Parr closely examined the three bottles and discovered the problem with the second one: it was genuine.