Monday, March 4, 2013

La théorie des prix

The Judgment of Paris--of 1976 when wine merchant Steven Spurrier, puttin' on the Ritz, introduced the French to California wine, which was the shot heard round the world of viticulture--becomes the Jugement de Princeton;

Some 36 years later, George Taber, the only journalist attending the Paris tasting, jointly organised with Orley Ashenfelter from Princeton University and Karl Storchmann from New York University the ‘Judgement of Princeton’3during the 6th International Conference of the American Association of Wine Economists in June 2012.
The same French wines as the ones tasted in 1976 – though of more recent vintage – were compared to New Jersey wines (six wines in each flight), replacing the California wines of the ‘Judgement of Paris’4.
This time the French managed to eke out a victory as, This time, a French white wine, Clos des Mouches 2010, and a French red wine, Château Mouton-Rothschild 2004, were ranked first in each category. 
But that was it as far as good news for terroir;
The important conclusion of the ranking, as analysed by Richard Quandt from Princeton, is that Clos des Mouches is statistically significantly better than the nine other whites, which are all judged of equal quality, while one New Jersey red wine is statistically worse than all other nine reds. None of the remaining wines, whether French or from New Jersey, is statistically different from the other. This implies that Château Mouton-Rothschild and Château Haut-Brion, two French superstars, cannot be distinguished from New Jersey reds, which cost only 5% of their French counterparts5.
C'est la vie.

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