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Never buy the second-cheapest wine on the menu.

I've heard this many times and thought it was just a fun rule of thumb. But two British economists decided the theory was worth testing, and did so with audacious precision. Their results came out last month.

“Restaurateurs are believed to overprice the second-cheapest wine to exploit naïve diners embarrassed to choose the cheapest option,” write David de Meza from the London School of Economics and Vikram Pathania from the University of Sussex in a working paper titled: “Is the Second-Cheapest Wine a Rip-Off? Economics vs Psychology in Product-Line Pricing".