Victor Ginsburgh, Israel Zang, 01 August 2013

Increasingly, economists and cultural critics are arguing that wine tasting is junk science. This column argues that the problem with wine tasting lies not with the impossibility to consistently tell a good wine from a bad wine but with how the wines are ranked. If a new system of game-theory-based rating and ranking using the Shapley value were implemented, wine tasting might get a better hearing from its critics.

Orley Ashenfelter, Olivier Gergaud, Victor Ginsburgh, Karl Storchmann, 01 March 2013

Does terroir really affect a wine’s quality? This column argues that alleged experts repeatedly cannot tell a superstar wine from a cheaper bottle. Like many cultural commodities, it seems that the quality of wine is not an objective trait. Rather, these commodities become whatever we want them to become.

Victor Ginsburgh, 16 January 2012

Economists have shown that wine tasters can’t tell Bordeaux from budget plonk, movie critics are prone to giving biased reviews, and Olympic judges are often judging what’s best for them to say rather than what’s in front of them. This column asks why we should expect credit-rating agencies, with their own unique set of ignorance and incentives, to be any different.

Richard Baldwin, 28 June 2008

Hard research on a soft topic shows that terroir doesn’t matter (except for the price) and the opinions of wine ‘experts’ don’t help predict a wine’s long-term value.

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