Its nice to see our engineers are working on complex and pressing problems of the day. From the same folks who brought you the Ferrari F430 - This device capable of optimizing the precise, multiplexed, on-demand delivery of carbonated, sub-room temperature, sugary fluids from a single flow nozzle is the kind of technology needed to offer consumers real choice.
(at the VCU Five Guys among other locations)
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Saturday, January 14, 2012
At the Gallagher, Bastianich NYC restaurant Becco we recently had the pleasure of dining at, the consistently classical cuisine was complemented by a nearly 90 bottle list of Italian wines all at $25 (in addition to the Reserve list). This was accompanied by their philosophy - "We created this wine list to remove the inhibition & confusion of price from your wine selection. We encourage you to explore the many styles & great values here."
As a non-wine-expert, I quite liked this concept a lot. It was terrific to see this replicated in a small way at the Shockoe Bottom restaurant Arcadia. Open for a couple of months now at the location formerly occupied by Cafe Gutenberg, it had its brush with Lincoln stardom that had folks atwitter for a bit.
Arcadia's menu features a pretty decent selection of ~15 bottles at $20 and ~15 at $30. Which makes for a nice start.
This "inhibition & confusion of price" reminded me of some of the work in the area of trying to study the correlations between wine and price (courtesy Freakonomics). A couple of years ago, Goldstein et al. (J. Wine Econ., 3(1),1–9, 2008) published a paper entitled "Do More Expensive Wines Taste Better?" They found:
1. People unaware of the price do not derive more enjoyment from more expensive wine. Based on 6000 blind tastings, there was actually a negative correlation between price and rating suggesting that individuals on average seem to enjoy more expensive wines slightly less.
2. Interestingly, for individuals with wine training, however, there is a non-negative relationship between price and enjoyment, which opens up an entire round of questions about the "experts".
For example, with two wines, A and B, $ (Wine A) = 10x $ (Wine B). In terms of a 100-point scale, non-experts would assign an overall rating four points lower for wine A, whereas experts would assign an overall rating seven points higher.
Essentially, they cautioned that non-expert wine consumers (most of us?) should not anticipate greater enjoyment of the intrinsic qualities of a wine simply because it is expensive or is appreciated by experts!
The converse question is equally interesting - Does a more expensive wine taste better to a regular person? Not surprisingly, people expect a higher quality with price. But interestingly, research has shown that individuals appreciate the same wine more when they think that it is more expensive (Plassmann et al., PNAS 105(3), 1050–1054, 2008). In the paper "Marketing actions can modulate neural representations of experienced pleasantness", they used fMRI scans in which people were given differhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifent wines that they were told differed in price. Some of the wines were the same but simply presented with different prices. Prices correlated positively with experienced pleasantness, measured both subjectively and via fMRI experiments.
Ah yes, back to Arcadia....always loved the place in its previous-previous incarnation as CG and I continue to like the space, its very Richmond views, and what the new owners have done with it. The food was good but could use a little kapow !! We didnt have the steak thats proudly advertised. Dinner for two with a couple of shared plates, entrees and a bottle of wine + t&t is close to 3 digits. Perhaps a function of the weekend crowd but be prepared for some high sound levels. The tartufo was delightufo.
(Pretentious titles courtesy Google translate!)