Forget what you’ve heard. Organic wines actually taste better, a new study says


That was the headline on a recent article in a New Zealand newspaper. It grabbed my attention.

It turns out three researchers, all professors in business in the US and France, have put major effort into the study, which analysed the scores for over 74,000 Californian wines reviewed in three high-profile US publications: Wine Advocate, Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast. The main tasters whose numbers were crunched were Robert Parker, James Laube and Steve Heimoff.

The researchers, led by University of California, Los Angeles professor of management Magali Delmas, found organic wines achieved scores 0.46% higher than other wines. This doesn’t sound like much, but is statistically significant, according to the writer.

A critical point is that the wines considered as organic had to be certified as organic, and this necessitated a massive amount of checking, as apparently only one-third of certified wines declare it on the bottle.

The study has not yet been peer reviewed, but was submitted as a working paper to the American Association of Wine Economists under the title “Does Organic Wine Taste Better? An Analysis of Experts’ Ratings.

I wondered if these critics all taste ‘blind’, and if not, whether they are well disposed towards organic wines or not?

It’s not a perfect study, but it’s worth a read.

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