Taste Of Wine Influenced By Music

Is there any validity to the belief that certain types of music, when played whilst drinking a glass of wine, could enhance the taste? Certain types of music have been proven to assist with intelligence so why not music enhancing the taste of wine?
Recent research which was undertaken by psychologists has shown an incredible correlation between the enhancement of the taste of wine when certain types of music are played. The research, undertaken by the Heriot Watt University, England, showed that people rated the change in the taste of wine by up to 60% based on a certain type of melody being listened to at the same time. The research involved 250 people drinking a glass of wine during which 4 types of music were played.

The experiment concentrated on 2 types of wine, Red and White, and the different grapes used in the production of the wine. During the experiment, white wine was rated 40% more refreshing and zingy when drunk during a broadcast of Just Can't Get Enough by Nouvelle Vague but only 26% more mellow and soft when drunk with a broadcast of Slow Breakdown by Michael Brook. On the other hand, the taste of red wine altered by 25% when drunk during a broadcast of Slow Breakdown and an amazing 60% during Carmina Burana by Orff.

Psychologists concluded the results as part of the "cognitive priming theory" where certain types of music make the brain respond in different ways. The research, undertaken for Chilean Winemaker Aurelio Montes, identified cabernet sauvignon as being affected by "powerful and heavy" music, such as Carmina Burana, and chardonnay being affected by the "zingy and refreshing" sounds such as Just Can't Get Enough. In fact, Aurelio Montes admits to playing monastic chants to his maturing wines.

The experiment only consisted of the 2 types of wine, Red and White, and it would be interesting to see if any other drink, either alcoholic or non-alcoholic, was proven to enhance the taste as well. Maybe even to research if the taste of food is also enhanced when listening to certain types of music.

One of the heads of the experiment has also conducted his own experiments on the same theory which concluded that if consumers heard accordion music being played in the background they were 5 times more likely to buy French wine than German wine. However, to complement the buying habits of the consumers, the same previous experiment he conducted also concluded that German wines were outsold by 2 to 1 if an oompah band was being played in the background. One day it may lead to wine bottles having music recommendations added to their label.

Information taken from Montes Wines suggests the following wines and their respective music which when played helps enhance the taste of the wine:

Cabernet Sauvignon - All Along The Watchtower (Jimi Hendrix), Honky Tonk Woman (The Rolling Stones), Live and Let Die (Paul McCartney and Wings), Won't Get Fooled Again (The Who).

Chardonnay - Atomic (Blondie), Rock DJ (Robbie Williams), What's Love Got To Do With It (Tina Turner), Spinning Around (Kylie Minogue).

Syrah - Nessun Dorma (Puccini), Orinocco Flow (Enya), Chariots of Fire (Vangelis), Canon (Pachelbel).

Merlot - Sitting On The Dock of The Bay (Otis Redding), Easy (Lionel Ritchie), Over The Rainbow (Eva Cassidy), Heartbeats (Jose Gonzalez).

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About The Author, Chrisg
Chris is keen and conservatoire pianist. His website, http://www.pianoplayingtips.info, provides piano playing tips and a review for online piano lessons.