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Having a drink with friends tastes better

An Oxford University study has revealed that it's not just what's in our glass that affects our enjoyment of wine, many other factors contribute to the experience. Leading the way is the colour of a wine, the weight of the bottle, with heavier bottles suggesting more expensive and therefore a better wine, the actual price paid, the lighting in a room, the music playing and the overall smells and textures of the environment in which you are drinking.

A good mood can change the chemistry in key sensory organs like the mouth and nose, prompting more positive assessments of food and wine in social situations, compared to more discriminating settings like a tasting booth in a laboratory.

Taste is also about the social context, Professor Spence said. In his Oxford University experiments with both experts and general public participants, moods and situations were varied to gauge their impacts on tasters' reactions.