Monday, 23 May 2016

How does music improve your wine?

There’s nothing better than pouring yourself a nice glass of red in the evening and relaxing after a hard day in the office. If you really want to make the most of this post-work treat, Ideal Wine Company advises you to put on some music so you can enhance your wine drinking experience.

Enhancing the experience

Wine is a wonderfully complex drink. Different vintages possess a variety of flavour combinations, allowing you to embark on a unique journey every time you drink a new wine! You can enhance your wine drinking experience by engaging with your other senses as you consume, in order to really highlight the unique traits of your tipple. Increasingly, wine aficionados are pairing wine with music!

A number of writers, bloggers, merchants and experts are now teaming standout wines with classic tracks. Blogger Daniel Levin recently wrote a piece where he suggests bottles to drink with Prince’s greatest hits! He argued that Achaval-Ferrer's 2013 Malbec Mendoza goes well with Prince’s iconic ‘Purple Rain,’ due to the vintage’s silky smooth texture and hints of dark fruits and purple flowers.

Explaining the trend 

A recent Guardian article explains that there is a certain method to the madness of teaming wine with music. The piece states that music can serve as a “vivid and apt” way of “communicating a wine’s character and appeal,” adding that “much depends on your frame of reference.” The Guardian gives two examples of how various styles of music can express the character of different wine varietals.

The articles notes that this could apply to the overall structure of a wine. Say a vintage contains high acidity levels; the writer suggests that as the wine could be described as sharp, it could go well with high pitched music. The articles goes on to say that this could also apply to the overall feel of a wine. The writer argues that “a light, elegant, high acid wine such as Mosel Riesling really does seem to have, to me at least, spiritual kinship with a Mozart string quartet.”

Scientific evidence

There is evidence to suggest that wine really does taste better when you drink it to music. A study from experimental psychologist Professor Charles Spence, who is the Head of Crossmodal Research at Oxford University, indicates that that the link between taste and sound may be more ingrained within the human psyche than experts previously believed. 

The research found that human beings really do see sweet and sour flavours as high pitched and bitter tastes as low pitched. Spence and his partner Qian Wang found that playing low pitched music while supping on “high pitched wines,” or the other way around, can really impact how we interact with the vintage. Spence and Wang added that this research is rudimentary and doesn’t yet have the ability to shed light on key structural wine components such as alcohol level, oak, viscosity and tannins.

Try it yourself

In other words, if you consume a great vintage with the perfect song, it may be able to enhance your wine drinking experience! But how do you find the right combination? How about you do a little experimenting? If you buy the Chateau Pavie 1998, a full-bodied, powerful Bordeaux red, from Ideal Wine Company, research the vintage and see which song you think goes with this wine’s unique character!