Posted on: June 20, 2019 Posted by: Allene Lewis Comments: 0

Big occasion coming up? Family party? A birthday? No doubt you’ll probably have wine somewhere on the agenda. Let’s be honest, a bottle of wine can fit into any scenario, we just can’t get enough of it. But if it’s for a big event such as the ones listed above, then you’re probably looking into what kinds of wine you should be purchasing. But will a cheap wine do? Or will you have to purchase a more expensive wine? Will your guests even notice? Don’t worry, we’re here to answer all of your questions in this article. Here’s the top taste differences between cheap and expensive wines.

Before looking too deeply into the taste differences found in different wines, you need to first understand why these differences occur in the first place. One of these factors is how long the wine is left to age in oak. Allowing oak to age in oak does a number of things, including allowing oak flavours to seep their way into the wine itself, tending to give wine a more vanilla-orientated flavour. Other spices also find their way into wine because of this. The wine is also exposed to more oxygen during the time it is allowed to age, again contributing to its more divine taste. The longer a wine is left to age, the more expensive it becomes. The taste differences created lead to the difference in price.

The time a wine spends at the production stage also plays a part in its taste and therefore its price. This is similar to the oak ageing stage, in that it is common belief that the longer a wine is left to stew the better it will taste. This is again because of the addition of different, more sophisticated flavours which all add up to create a more expensive tasting wine.

A lot of emphasis is also put on the growing of wine grapes in vineyards themselves. A lot of winemakers believe that decreasing the number of grapes produced will actually increase the flavour and quality of the wine when it comes to our shops. This has mostly proven to be the case, providing another interesting contrast between cheap and expensive wines and giving an insight into how their price differences are created.

But what actually are the taste differences between cheap and expensive wines?

The main difference between cheap and expensive wines tends to be that expensive wines flavours are all natural, whilst cheap wines compensate by being filled with a lot of sugars. This leads to a lot of people preferring the taste of cheap wines despite the lack of effort that goes into making them. This was shown in a study performed by Robin Goldstein;

“In a sample of more than 6,000 blind tastings, we find that the correlation between price and overall rating is small and negative, suggesting that individuals [without wine training] on average enjoy more expensive wines slightly less. For individuals with wine training, however, we find indications of a positive relationship between price and enjoyment.”

This suggests that most ordinary people, who aren’t experts on the taste of wine by any means, actually prefer the taste of cheap wine. This is because of its more pleasing flavours due to the sugar, which is why wines such as Echo Falls have shot to such prominence in younger generations; people are less informed about what a good wine should taste like, and prefer genetically engineered wines designed to please their taste buds.

But if you’re looking to purchase expensive wines rom a glamorous occasion, you’ll want to about the taste differences which favour more expensive wines.

The role that oak barrels play in the taste of wine cannot be underestimated. This is a common technique used to improve the flavour of alcoholic drinks, including whiskey. There are a variety of different reasons as to why oak improves the taste of wine, including the addition of new flavours. Extracts of vanilla, coconut and cloves are commonly found in wines which have been left for a few years, and extra spices often make their way into the taste as well. This contributes to adding a real sophistication to the taste of wine, highlighting why its price increases and it’s more suited to higher class events.

Expensive wine being left for longer in oak barrels also allows for the slow seeping of oxygen into the wine. While there are a lot of debates as to whether wine is good or bad once a bottle is opened, there’s no debate over its effectiveness at the creation stage. The more oxygen the wine is subjected to over a longer period time, the better and smoother it will taste. If you purchase a more expensive wine, there’s a higher chance it’s been exposed to more natural oxygen and therefore will go down a lot easier at the dinner table or at a party.

The fermentation of wine at its development stage is also crucial in providing a better taste when it comes to the time for it to be sold. Being allowed to ferment in an oak barrel means the grape juice can turn slowly into a alcoholic beverage, and the longer it ferments the longer it is able to turn into wine of the highest quality. The more sugar in the grape juice, the higher the alcohol percentage; this is why wines such as Zinfandel are so popular- their alcohol percentage is higher because of the amount of sugar in their juices. More expensive wines are allowed to undergo the fermentation process for longer, and therefore reach the full potential their juices offer. You really get what you pay for when it comes to wine.

There are a lot of factors which come into play when determining the taste differences between cheap and expensive wines. Although you might be tricked into thinking cheap wines taste just as good, don’t fall for this; it’s just the sugars added which make this so. Expensive wines have been allowed to age in oak for longer, giving them much more natural and sophisticated flavours and making them perfect for big occasions.

You can check out more interesting facts about your favourite wines at

Leave a Comment