Does music make wine taste better?
Author: Sejal Popat, founder Pink Lotus Wines
Drinking wine to music
If factors such as food, where you are and what you drink your wine out of can affect the taste of wine, why can’t music? It was this question that set Professor Adrian North of Heriot-Watt University on a quest to see if music influences the way wine tastes.
In a study commissioned by Chilean wine company Montes, 250 men and women were asked to rate the taste of a red (Cabernet Sauvignon) or white wine (Chardonnay) whilst listening to different types of music. The group were split up – one control group drank their wine in silence whilst the other four groups were played one of four songs on a loop for 15 minutes. The results are quite fascinating:
The group who were played “Waltz of the Flowers” from Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker” described their wines as “subtle and refined” whereas those drinking the same wines to “Just Can’t Get Enough” by Nouvelle Vague described their wines as “zingy and refreshing”. The “mellow and soft” music group listened to “Slow Breakdown” by Michael Brook and described the wines tasting the same. Finally “Carmina Burana” by Orff, influenced the wine drinkers into thinking it was “powerful and heavy”.
Many people can remember what food they ate when a certain song comes on the radio. It is thought that feelings and memories evoked by music can influence the way wine tastes as well.
The full results of the study can be found here.
Making wine to music
It appears that the wine-music influence doesn’t stop with tasting, in fact, several winemakers have been experimenting with playing music whilst making their wine and claim it produces a better tasting product!
Markus Bachmann has teamed up with six Austrian winegrowers to produce “Sonor Wines”. Mr Bachmann invented a special speaker to play classical, jazz or electronic tunes to the fermenting grape juice. The wines produce less sugar and more taste due to a biochemical process provoked by the sound waves and depending on the music/frequencies the wines react in different ways.
DeMorgenzon winery in South Africa goes one step closer to the roots and plays Baroque music through the vineyards 24 hours a day. They believe that music influences the ripening process!
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