The Color of Sensual
and Successful Influence?
By Kevin Hogan
Background Colors & Lighting Enhance Sense of Taste
So you don't want red anywhere near you when you are taking a test.
That's better than a good thing to know.
How does color change the taste of something like wine (which isn't
red but is "close" to red!)
The background lighting provided in a room has an influence on how
we taste wine. This is the result of a survey conducted by
researchers at the Institute of Psychology at Johannes Gutenberg
University Mainz, Germany. Several sub-surveys were conducted in
which about 500 participants were asked how they liked a particular
wine and how much they would pay for it.
It was found that the same wine was rated higher when exposed to red
or blue ambient light rather than green or white light. The test
persons were even willing to spend in excess of one Euro more on a
specific bottle of Riesling when it was offered in red instead of
"It is already known that the color of a drink can influence the way
we taste it," says Dr Daniel Oberfeld-Twistel of the General
Experimental Psychology division. "We wanted to know whether
background lighting, for example in a restaurant, makes a difference
as well." The survey showed, among other things, that the test wine
was perceived as being nearly 1.5 times sweeter in red light than in
white or green light. Its fruitiness was also most highly rated in
Accordingly, one conclusion of the study is that the color of
ambient lighting can influence how wine tastes, even when there is no
direct effect on the color of the drink. "The extreme lighting
conditions found in some bars can undoubtedly influence the way a
wine tastes," concludes Oberfeld-Twistel. He also recommends that
serious wine tasting should be conducted in a neutral light color
Perhaps a partial explanation of why lighting influences the way we
taste wine is that in what we perceive to be pleasant lighting
conditions, we also regard the wine as being more pleasant too.
Additional research is planned to provide further insight into this
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