A new UCLA study shows that eco-certified wine tastes better, and making the choice even easier, earlier research shows it’s often cheaper, too. Though consumers remain reluctant to spend more on wine from organic grapes, the new study from UCLA researchers shows that in blind taste-tests professional wine reviewers give eco-certified wines higher ratings than regular wines. The study, published today in the Journal of Wine Economics, looked at reviews and scores for more than 74,000 California wines from the magazines Wine Advocate, Wine Enthusiast and Wine Spectator. On a standardized 100-point scale, eco-certified wines scored an average of 4.1 points higher. The standardized scale controlled for differences between the scoring systems — for example, easy graders versus hard graders. “The bottom line is that however we look at it, we find that organic and biodynamic farming has these small but significant positive effects on wine quality,” said lead author Magali Delmas, a UCLA environmental economist and professor in the UCLA Anderson School of Management. Though the paper studied only California wines, the research team expects the results to apply broadly, since California produces 90 percent of the wine in the United States.
From UCLA Photo Credit John Vlahakis