We report on a preliminary study designed to assess the impact of the sound of the closure on the taste of wine. Given that people hold certain beliefs around the taste/quality of wines presented in bottles having different closure types, we expected that the sound of opening might influence people’s wine ratings. In particular, if participants hear a cork being pulled vs. the sound of a screw-cap bottle being opened then these two sounds will likely set different expectations that may then affect people’s judgment of the taste/quality of the wine that they are rating. In order to test this hypothesis, 140 people based in the UK (and of varying degrees of wine expertise) rated two wine samples along four scales, three relating to the wine and one relating to celebratory mood. The results demonstrated that the sound of a bottle being opened did indeed impact ratings. In particular, the quality of the wine was rated as higher, its appropriateness for a celebratory occasion, and the celebratory mood of the participant was also higher following the sound of the cork pop. These results add to the literature demonstrating that the sounds of opening/preparation of food and beverage products can exert a significant influence over the sensory and hedonic aspects of people’s subsequent tasting experience.
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