The Buyer’s Dilemma
Omer Gokcekus and Dennis Nottebaum
A wine buyer is faced by a multitude of often diverging expert reviews and ratings of one and the same wine. In this paper we attempt to shed light on the question of whose rating a regular buyer should pay attention to. We do so by comparing the taste of regular consumers, proxied by community tasting notes, and expert ratings. We find that for 120 2005 Bordeaux wines listed at www.cellartracker.com, (a) both the average and median community scores are lower than the three expert scores of Robert Parker, the Wine Spectator, and Stephan Tanzer; (b) the correlation between the expert ratings is higher than the correlation between the community and the expert ratings; (c) among the experts, Stephen Tanzer’s scores are most highly correlated with the community ratings; and (d) more interestingly, compared to expert ratings, average price paid for a bottle of wine is more highly correlated with median community score.
* Omer Gokcekus: John C. Whitehead School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University, USA -‐ firstname.lastname@example.org
* Dennis Nottebaum: Centre for Interdisciplinary Economics (CIW), University of Münster, Germany,
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