Reader Zach Savage of New York hosted a party with his roommate a few nights ago. “I came across a powerful nudge,” he writes.
At the party, my roommate and I set out six bottles of wine on a table. The wine bottles were still corked, so we put a corkscrew next to the bottles. We also offered other drinks – beer, eggnog, and cider. After the party had been going on for about 30 minutes, I noticed that our guests were drinking the beer, cider, and eggnog very quickly, but nobody was drinking the wine. I thought people might need a little nudge to induce them to drink the wine, so I opened one of the six bottles. Within about 10 minutes, that bottle was gone. However, the other 5 bottles were still untouched. I opened another bottle, and again, that entire bottle was consumed within about 10 minutes, but nobody had touched the other four bottles. I then opened the four remaining bottles, and by the end of the party, they were all gone.
It was very clear that what determined whether someone drank a particular bottle of wine was not whether they liked the type of wine in the bottle, but whether or not the bottle was open.
Just where were the oenophiles at this fine party?