You know when you buy an exquisite $25 bottle of wine on vacation, only to find it tastes like your average $12 bottle when you crack it open at home?
No, your memory isn't deceiving you -- you're experiencing a psychological phenomenon that one Oxford University professor is determined to prove.
Psychology professor Charles Spence claims that the same wine can taste either fruity, bitter or acidic depending on the lighting and sound of where a person drinks it.
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For example, he suggests that drinking wine in a room with white or cream walls may be to blame for a bland-tasting wine.
“The wine is still the same," he tells the Telegraph. "The only thing that has changed is your environment. So if you want to enjoy your holiday wine you need to recreate, as far as possible, the moment that you drank it."
To test his theory, Spence will undertake the biggest multi-sensory experiment on the psychology of wine drinking at the Streets of Spain -- a UK street festival that takes place next month.
Festival-goers will be invited to taste wine in his 'Colour Lab,' where he will manipulate lighting to see how it affects their drinking experience. The wine drinker will be surrounded by either red, green or white lights and will be asked to report how the wine tastes under each light.
Spence anticipates his study results could be a major game-changer in the wine industry. In the future, wine labels could include such information as ideal lighting conditions and musical suggestions and could have implications for the decor of upscale restaurants.
“I believe the results of our study will extend to restaurants and bars reconsidering the colour of tablecloths, glassware, cutlery and even the colour of pictures on walls,” he says.
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Spence isn't the only researcher to delve into the science behind our enjoyment of wine.
Past studies have shown that wine tastes sweeter under a red light and that cheap sparkling wine becomes rather indistinguishable from champagne when consumed in a black glass.
And wine experts recently weighed in on how the type of wine glass affects the flavour of the wine.