Sunday, June 29, 2008

Weather forecast by drinking wine.

In his book, “Super Crunchers”, the author Ian Ayres refers to the work done by Princeton economist, Orley Ashtenfelter, on the parameters that affect quality of wine. Ashtenfelter went on to develop a quantitative analysis to predict the price of wine, from the weather data in the year in which the grapes were grown. He had the temerity, says Ayers, to reduce his theory to a formula:

Wine quality= 12.145+0.00117 winter rainfall+0.0614 average growing season temperature- 0.00386 harvest rainfall.

Though this might prove useful to connoisseurs of wine and those who need to invest in the vineyards, I don’t see much practical use, outside this narrow domain.

If we can use Ashtenfelter’s formula in reverse, and predict the next year’s average temperature and harvest rainfall, based on the quality of wine sold this year, there might be some interesting applications.


Unknown said...

In other words, wine grown in a hot and humid place where the humidity drops miraculously at harvest time would be high quality..

Cha, if only I had known this before!


Raj said...

sundar, yes, we need to catch up on 'regression' and other analytical methods, that we had left in 'choice' in our exams.

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