'I'll Have Some Mellencamp With That Merlot'

    Last week, the BBC reported what we’ve been asserting for years: Playing a certain type of music can enhance the way wine tastes.

     The Heriot Watt University study found people rated the change in taste by up to 60 percent, depending on the melody heard.

     The researchers said Cabernet Sauvignon was most affected by “powerful and heavy” music, and Chardonnay by “zingy and refreshing” sounds.

     Professor Adrian North said the study could lead retailers to put music recommendations on their wine bottles.

     The research involved 250 students at the university who were offered a free glass of wine in exchange for their views.

     Four types of music were played — “Carmina Burana” by Orff (“powerful and heavy”), “Waltz of the Flowers” from “The Nutcracker” by Tchaikovsky (“subtle and refined”), “Just Can’t Get Enough” by Nouvelle Vague (“zingy and refreshing”), and “Slow Breakdown” by Michael Brook (“mellow and soft”).

     The white wine was rated 40% more zingy and refreshing when that music was played, but only 26% more mellow and soft when music in that category was heard.

     The red was altered 25% by mellow and fresh music, yet 60% by powerful and heavy music.

     The results were put down to “cognitive priming theory,” where the music sets up the brain to respond to the wine in a certain way.

     “Wine manufacturers could recommend that while drinking a certain wine, you should listen to a certain sort of music,” Prof. North said.

     The research was carried out for Chilean winemaker Aurelio Montes, who plays monastic chants to his maturing wines — some of which have been featured by the wine clubs of Vinesse.

     Noted Montes: “It was a natural extension to link with Heriot Watt and to scientifically determine the impact that music has on how wine tastes.”

     Previously, Prof. North conducted supermarket research which suggested people were five times more likely to buy French wine than German wine if accordion music was played in the background.

     If an oompah band was played, the German product outsold the French by two to one.


     So, what kind of wine should you be drinking with your favorite music? Or, conversely, what kind of music should you be playing with your favorite wine?

     Here are a few recommendations…

     * Cabernet Sauvignon: “All Along The Watchtower” (Jimi Hendrix), “Honky Tonk Woman” (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), “Orinoco Flow” (Enya), “Chariots Of Fire” (Vangelis), “Canon” (Johann Pachelbel).

     * Merlot: “Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay” (Otis Redding), “Easy” (Lionel

Ritchie), “Over The Rainbow” (Eva Cassidy), “Heartbeats” (Jose Gonzalez).

(Source: Montes Wines)

Posted in Wine Buzz
Members-only Wine sampler specials delivered straight to your inbox via our Cyber Circle newsletter.

%d bloggers like this: