Yesterday, I encouraged people interested in unlearning to "trust but verify" their instincts. One area where this technique might save you some money is to have a friend or loved one give you a blind taste of your favorite (and perhaps expensive) wine or coffee along with that of a lesser brand.
Interestingly, a few years ago researchers at Stanford gave a group of wine experts a blind taste test of five different wines. The only information provided was the price of each wine — ranging between $5 and $90. Not surprisingly, the most expensive wine was identified as the best. What is interesting, though, is that three of the wines (the $5, $45, $90 bottles) were the same wine.
In other words, it was not the inherent characteristic of the wine (i.e. a"charismatic Cabernet Sauvignon with a full-bodied flavor and a hint of cherry and oak") that the tasters were reacting to, it was the price.
Now consider some of your favorite wines, coffees and chocolates. Are you really reacting to the superior taste — or the inflated price? If you're unsure, take a blind taste test. The results may very well encourage you to unlearn some of your expensive habits.