Three ladies enjoying a glass of wine in the hot weather in Konstanz, Germany.
If you’re going to serve cheap gin – put it in heavy glasses, preferably tinted blue.
According to psychologist Charles Spence at Oxford University, who works with Heston Blumenthal, it’s easy to manipulate your guest’s drinking habits.
Plastic glasses are associated with poor quality and cheapness whereas heavy glasses add significantly to the taste.
If you want to get your guests drunk more quickly play German techno music. It dulls the taste senses and people drink more (I’m off to Germany this week so must remember that).
The colour of a room can change the taste of red wine and the shape of a glass can affect how sweet and refreshing you find a drink.
If you’re having a dinner party makes sure you buy wine in heavy bottles and let the guests hold the bottle. People think that the heavier the bottle the better the taste and for every extra £1 you spend on a bottle it has 8% more glass.
There’s been a lot of research about the impact of cutlery on eating habits and the impact of music and the sounds of the seashore when eating fish.
It just shows that there’s more to enjoying a good meal than having it nicely cooked.
Leaving aside our historical dislike of the French (I’ve just finished reading Bernard Cornwell’s Harlequin about the battle of Crecy) it seems that the French wine experts may be right, at least when it comes to drinking wine.
Research as part of a marketing campaign by French Wines with Style identified a number of mistakes that we Brits regularly make when we drink wine – even though we might think we are experts.
If you do any of these you’re not as expert as you think you are about wine:
- Warming wine on the radiator
- Keeping champagne in the fridge
- Storing wine in the kitchen where it’s hot
- Diluting the flavour by adding ice cubes
- Mistaking floating bits of cork with the wine being “corked”
- Ordering wine by its number because we can’t pronounce its name
- Complaining that the waiter hasn’t poured enough wine when you’re only being offered enough for a taste
- Ordering expensive wine in the belief that it will taste better
- Ordering wine with a high alcohol content in the belief that it is of better quality
The French advice is “If you want advice don’t be afraid to ask whether in a store or a restaurant”