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02.28.2005

How Much Should That Wine Cost? Feel The Dimple

Ah, there's nothing like a little pseudo-science to brighten up your day. Check out this headline: "Scientists Prove How to Value a Bottle of Wine, Just by Feeling its Dimple."

Yes, that's right, the deeper the dimple, the higher the price. These "scientists" have even come up with an equation! Are you ready?:

Price of Bottle = (Dimple Depth in Millimeters + $6.65) / 4.314
Hmm. We'll assume because we're nice that they forgot to make the basic disclaimer that this equation only works for current release prices, not for older vintages (we know that the dimples don't get deeper over time). But even assuming that, the bottle of Screaming Eagle I've been eyeing warily at a cost of $1199 should have a dimple depth of 5 centimeters, or about 2 inches, which I think you'd only find on a Champagne bottle if anywhere.

Not particularly useful. But maybe, to be charitable, it really does help judge the difference between, say, Turning Leaf and Two Buck Chuck. That will definitely be useful for all the blind folks out there who want to make sure they don't overspend in the wine aisle, or maybe for the wineries themselves, who will all move to deeper dimples so they can proudly boast, "We've got the dimple depth of wines costing more than twice as much!"

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The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson Wine Grapes The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson to cork or not to cork by George Taber reading between the vines by Terry Theise adventures on the wine route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud