Richard Wiseman, a professor at the University of Hertfordshire, carried out the study as guest director of the Edinburgh Science Festival, the Daily Mail reported. Researchers asked 578 people to drink a glass of wine and then to pick one of two prices for the bottle.
The subjects guessed right about half the time, results Wiseman called "remarkable." But he seemed unsure whether the problem was in the taste buds or whether there is really not much actual difference between wines regardless of price.
"People were unable to tell expensive from inexpensive wines and so in these times of financial hardship the message is clear -- the inexpensive wines we tested taste the same as their expensive counterparts," he said.
Guy Woodward, who edits a wine magazine, Decanter, told the Mail people who are used to inexpensive wine may find better-class bottles hard to warm up to.
"More expensive wines are often less obvious," he said. "They may not have the bold fruity flavors of cheaper wines -- they will be more nuanced and they may not be as sweet."