Companies spend a lot of money to convince you their products are worth more than they really are. And you believe ‘em.
Quite frankly, your naiveté is starting to bug me. Mostly because you waste money on perceived, yet nonexistent, value. But also because people like you look down on me.
By now you’re probably thinking, “What are you talking about, girl? We love you. You’re awesome.”
Okay, fine, maybe you’re not saying that, but hear me out.
For years I’ve proclaimed my love for boxed wine. Occasionally, others will express how much they hate it. However, I maintain that I cannot taste the difference between the expensive stuff and the cheap stuff.
Recently, I wrote a blog post over at Fabulously Broke called 10 Frugal Habits That Don’t Bother Me At All. In the article, I discuss sacrifices I make to save money such as styling my own hair, refusing to buy gifts, and of course, drinking boxed wine.
One commenter was particularly salty. Look at what she said to me:
You must not know what quality is. Boxed wine? This is the most disgusting wine I ever had.
Um, no, I don’t know quality–at least not when it comes to vino.
In the blog post, I explicitly state that I can’t distinguish between a $3 bottle and a $40 bottle of wine.
So if my taste buds are indifferent, how dumb would I be to pay an extra $37?
As far as I know, high-priced wine isn’t better for your health. So, that’s not an argument for paying a price premium either.
Can we be honest here?
Is this a safe place for the truth?
It is? Great. I’ll just come right out and say what few are afraid to admit.
If alcohol didn’t alter your mood, there’s no way you’d drink a known toxin.
Obviously, some poisons are more disgusting than others. But I’m guessing the number of people who drink wine would plummet if there was no alcohol in it.
Liquor sales would completely dry up.
Don’t act like you drink wine for any other reason than to get effed up or–at a minimum–to get a little tipsy.
I understand how uncomfortable such an admission might make you feel.
It’s much easier to pretend you’re an expert.
I’m sure countless wine snobs couldn’t pick a Chardonnay over a Pinot Grigio in a blind taste test if their whole head was submerged in the stuff.
When a bartender asks what brand of vodka I want in my pineapple juice, I usually blurt out something to the effect of “The cheapest one you got.”
Truthfully, I can tell the difference between cheap vodka and premium vodka–if I were to drink it straight.
However, I don’t drink vodka or any other liquor straight. After it’s mixed with a sugary chaser, whatever teeny taste difference remains certainly ain’t worth an extra seven bucks to get rid of.
But there are other products that fool us.
For instance, it took a New Orleans reporter to point out there’s no lobster in Zabar’s “lobster” salad.
You know what the popular grocer used instead? Crayfish.
No biggie. They’re both crustaceans.
For fifteen years, clueless New Yorkers paid top dollar for something they thought was lobster.
According to the Food and Drug Administration, “a third of seafood sold in the U.S. is mislabeled as one type when it’s actually something else, even something cheaper.”
Ha! I bet a lot of wine is “mislabeled.”
If our palate was as sensitive as we tell ourselves, massive fish fraud wouldn’t be such a huge problem in the United States.
You wouldn’t overpay for farm raised salmon that’s marketed as “wild caught” or blow your budget on catfish because the restaurant menu says it’s grouper. Not if you knew better.
I’m so sorry to tell you this, but you don’t know better.
And your pompous attitude allows you to get robbed by those who prey upon your ignorance.
How much money would you save if you weren’t gullible to deceptive marketing practices?
Photo Credit: Kurt Nordstrom