Love this next story….Dr. Wansink had a big wine and cheese party. He was testing what he calls the poisoning or halo effect – can a person’s reaction to a food affect others? He found out that if the wine tasted terrible, people rated the cheese served with the wine as terrible too.
At a restaurant on the U of Illinois campus called the Spice Box, he offered a prix fixe dinner. One week, they replaced the wine bottle labels on $2 cabernet to say the wine was either from North Dakota (wine isn’t even made there) or California. Those served wine from California rated not only the wine better, but the food better, they stayed longer and even made reservations to return.
The North Dakota wine poisoned the entire meal. They left earlier and made no plans on coming back.
Both groups drank the same amount of wine. Hmmmmm, could ‘free’ have something to do with that?
Moral of the Story: The power of expectation is huge. Go with what you know – choose simple fare. When serving guests, have them eat the best part of the meal first as it has a halo over everything that follows. It’s powerful!
From Nutrition Action newsletter, 5/11.