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Expensive wine always tastes better when you have the comfort of the label in front of you to guide you in your appreciation of what’s in your glass. As an interesting corollary, cheaper wines generally taste better until the label is revealed. Test this yourself: put a decent but inexpensive red wine into a decanter — the Landskroon Paul de Villiers Shiraz for example — and serve it to your guests using suitably splendid Riedel or Spiegelau glasses. Then ask them to guess the price.

If you’re not a notorious skinflint the odds are they will commit to an amount that is probably 50%-100% more than its on-shelf price. You can achieve the same result by pouring the Landskroon into a Boekenhoutskloof Syrah bottle and leaving them to help themselves, though this is a more obvious deception...

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