Freakonomics: The Days of Wine and Mice | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : Freakonomics Radio

Freakonomics: The Days of Wine and Mice

Geoffrey Fairchild

When you take a sip of Cabernet, what are you tasting -- the grape? the tannins? the oak barrel? Or is it the price? Believe it or not, the most dominant flavor may be the dollars. Thanks to the work of some intrepid and wine-obsessed economists (yes, there is an American Association of Wine Economists), we have a new understanding of the relationship between wine, critics, and consumers. One of these researchers is Robin Goldstein, whose paper detailing more than 6,000 blind tastings reaches the conclusion that "individuals who are unaware of the price do not derive more enjoyment from more expensive wine." So why do we pay so much attention to critics and connoisseurs who tell us otherwise? That's the question we set out to answer. You'll hear Steve Levitt, who admits his palate is "underdeveloped," and pulls a wine stunt on his elders at Harvard's Society of Fellows; and wine broker Brian DiMarco, who pulled a stunt of his own on his very wine-savvy employees.

Also in this episode of Freakonomics Radio, Stephen Dubner witnesses something that would doom any dining experience: while eating at a restaurant, a customer one table away was served a salad with a dead mouse in it. So, how does a business respond in the face of such a disaster? Vincent Herbert, the CEO of the restaurant in question, Le Pain Quotidien, explains what happened and how he coped; and crisis-control expert Andrew Gowers talks about facing the public on behalf of Lehman Brothers, post-collapse, and BP after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, Jan. 26, 2015

You can see two one-act dramas or attend a concert and fundraiser that’s all about local music.

NPR

Will Environmentalists Fall For Faux Fish Made From Plants?

A handful of chefs and food companies are experimenting with fish-like alternatives to seafood. But the market is still a few steps behind plant-based products for meat and dairy.
WAMU 88.5

Following Decriminalization, Maryland Bill Would Reduce Fines For Paraphernalia

Maryland joined the nationwide trend towards the decriminalization of marijuana last year, and now one lawmaker

NPR

3 Voices, 1 Threat: Personal Stories Of Cyberhacking

In President Obama's State of the Union address, he gave fresh emphasis to a problem that has been in the headlines: cybersecurity. Here are three people who have experienced security breaches.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.