The findings of an experimental study exploring the taste testing of wine with varying degrees of expertise and in the presence of variations in quality, brand and country of origin (COO) cues are reported. Novices experienced difficulty in evaluating quality and even when detecting a quality difference were unable to assign an intelligent meaning to that difference. Experts did use physical quality and price evaluations, but in a complex and unexpected manner. Novices were found to use brand name in a limited fashion and relied mainly on COO information. The results demonstrated the importance of the extrinsic cues for both novices and experts. Surprisingly, there was no clear evidence of domestic preference.
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