The Year in Food 2007

Label Seduction

If a 2007 Cornell study is to be believed, your wine’s label may matter as much—if not more—than the contents of the bottle. Diners in an upscale Urbana, Illinois, restaurant were given a complimentary bottle of Cab Sauv with their meal. Those told they were getting North Dakota wine rated their meal as worse than their counterparts, who were told they were getting a California wine. They were also less likely to make return reservations, and rated their food as being less delicious. The “judge a book by its cover” effect was demonstrated among children this year, too. A Stanford study showed that kids will even down yucky stuff like carrots, apple juice, and milk if you put it in the sensually appealing packaging of their favorite eatery: McDonald’s. —James Norton