An NYU professor "uses wine to illustrate various economics principles," reports Lettie Teague in The Wall Street Journal (10/11/3). Karl Storchmann actually teaches a Wine Econ course at New York University. He also is "a founder of the American Association of Wine Economists and the managing editor of Wine Economics, a semiannual publication of wine-focused economic research." Every article is "wine-related, covering everything from wine-shipping laws to the validity of wine economics." Most of its readers are economists, not the wine trade.
Indeed, according to Karl, Wine Economics "is consistently ranked as one of the best economics journals in the world" and rejects "almost three-quarters of submissions. We want to be top of the pops," he says. Karl was born in Germany, and bought a vineyard there while earning his PhD in economics. It is somewhat ironic that he is now in New York, which is not wine country. However, as Karl notes, it is "in the heart of wine consumption." And he is a big fan of wines from neighboring New Jersey, "which he believes are better than the wines of New York or even Napa Valley."
Karl’s Wine Econ course at NYU "uses wine to illustrate various economic concepts, such as pricing and market trends." He stages a "wine-tasting" of sorts – using Coke and Pepsi as stand-ins because he’s not allowed to serve alcohol in class. The test is designed to test the "randomness component of wine tasting." He "gives his students three glasses, telling them that they contain Pepsi and Coke – and that one of the drinks has been served twice. They are asked to identify which beverage is different" and rate the certainty of their choice. He says they are correct only "about 40% of the time."