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Hersleth, M., Mevik, B.-H., Næs, T., Guinard, J.-X. (2003); Effect of contextual factors on liking for wine – use of robust design methodology; Food Quality and Preference 14(7), 615—622.
This research investigated the effects of context on the acceptability of Chardonnay wines using the robust design methodology. Robust design methods distinguish between two types of design variables: control factors and noise factors. The control factors in this study were enological variables used to make the wines. The noise factors were the contexts in which the wines were evaluated. Eight Chardonnay wines were produced according to an experimental design with or without (1) malolactic fermentation, (2) oak contact, and (3) sugar addition to the finished wine. The wines were served in a laboratory and in a reception room with or without food, and rated for degree of liking on the 9-point hedonic scale by 55 wine consumers. Analyses of variance showed that the control factors and the noise factors had significant, and similar in size, effects on liking. The robust design methodology affords the product designer the ability to better understand the effects of product variation and context variation on product acceptability.