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The Days of Wine and Mouses: Full Transcript

Stephen J. DUBNER: So Levitt, um, a college friend of yours once told me that your favorite meal during college was a dill pickle, beef jerky and grape soda. Is that true?  Stephen D. LEVITT: I did indeed have that for breakfast, but to tell you the truth, it sounded better before I ate it than after.  […] Read More »





The Days of Wine and Mouses: A New Freakonomics Radio Podcast

Season 2, Episode 1

We have just released a new series of five one-hour Freakonomics Radio specials to public-radio stations across the country. (Check here for your local station.) These new shows are what might best be called “mashupdates” — that is, mashups of earlier podcasts that have also been updated with new interviews, etc.

If you are a charter subscriber to our podcast (remember this one on the dangers of safety, or this one on the obesity epidemic?), then some of this material will be familiar to you. If you are one of the people who have heard these new shows on the radio and wondered when they’d hit the podcast stream — well, that time is now. We’ll be releasing all five hours over the next ten weeks.

This first episode is called “The Days of Wine and Mouses.” (Download/subscribe at iTunes, get the RSS feed, listen via the media player above, or read the transcript below.) Here’s what you’ll be hearing:

When you take a sip of Cabernet, what are you tasting? The grape? The tannins? The oak barrel? Or is it the price? Believe it or not, the most dominant flavor may be the dollars. Read More »





The Days of Wine and Mouses

Season 2, Episode 1

When you take a sip of Cabernet, what are you tasting? the grape? the tannins? the oak barrel? Or is it the price?

Believe it or not, the most dominant flavor may be the dollars. Thanks to the work of some intrepid and wine-obsessed researchers (yes, there is an American Association of Wine Economists), we have a new understanding of the relationship between wine, critics, and consumers.

One of these researchers is Robin Goldstein, whose paper detailing more than 6,000 blind tastings reaches the conclusion that “individuals who are unaware of the price do not derive more enjoyment from more expensive wine.”

Why, then, do we pay so much attention to critics and connoisseurs who tell us otherwise? Read More »





Freakonomics Radio Archive

Freakonomics Radio began in 2010. Among our most popular episodes to date: “Do More Expensive Wines Taste Better?,” “Is College Really Worth It?,” and “How Much Does the President of the U.S. Really Matter?” You can subscribe via iTunes (where Freakonomics Radio occasionally hits the No. 1 ranking) or read our podcast user’s guide for […] Read More »





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4. Some ambient noise improves creative cognition. (HT: JCB)

5. How Americans spend on alcohol: more at bars than at liquor stores.

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