History of Music and Wine: Does Music Make Wine Taste Better?

Music has become an important part of wine festivals and tastings, helping give life to these events. Biographies of famous musicians and composers such as Johann Sebastian Bach, Wolfgang Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven reveal a strong relationship between music and wines.

Music historians suggest that many composers used wine to stimulate their creativity. For example, Mozart regarded wine as a trusted companion for nights when he would stay up late composing songs. Similarly, Bach had two cellars in his house and would sometimes accept quality wines as payment for his services. In addition, Gioachino Rossini, the great Italian composer had a well known insatiable appetite for wine.

Did You Know: Mozart is said to have been an avid fan of Champagne.

It has been recorded that Rossini received a barrel of Chateau Lafitte as a gift from Baron de Rothschild in 1864 after writing his famous letter where he wrote the Baron that “..I am not accustomed to taking wine in pill form.”

Vines Draw Energy from Soothing Music to Enhance Growth and Improve the Taste

Generally, the process of wine-making is described as a scientific method. The grapes are planted, nurtured, and processed into enjoyable bottles of wine through scientific formulas. However, there is also a school of thought that regards wine-making as an artistic process which requires artistic skill and creativity to give every wine a unique taste.

Music and Wine

Baron de Rothschild

Recently a theory has been presented about a mystical method of wine-making. The theory has attracted widespread attention and is creating a buzz in the wine world. It suggests the use of music during production could make the wine taste better. Interestingly, there are vineyards around the world, including vineyards in Chile, attesting to the impact of music on wine-making. They use sounds to enhance the oxygen exchange during the wine’s aging. To make things more interesting, there are winemakers who consider wine a living organism that draws energy from soothing sounds to enhance its growth and stability.

Research also suggest that there is a connection between music and tasting, as people’s opinion of a wine can change while listening to different music. Music is thought to create different environments that influences wine consumers’ perception of taste.

One significant revelation from the findings shows that people who drank Cabernet Sauvignon while listening to rock music taste 60% more flavors than people who weren’t listening. In addition, the outcome suggests that music not only has an impact on the quality of wines but influences human perception of the wine.[1]

The Connection

Have you ever wondered why wine tasting is often conducted in quiet spaces? Not to worry because we have got the answer — it’s because of the influence that music has on the perception of wine taste. Some people, especially wine enthusiasts, are of the opinion that if different smells, temperature, and foods impact the taste of wine, then it is logical to assume that music would have some effects on wine tasting as well.

However, one must pay attention when pairing music and wines. Just as music impacts different moods, different wines can also influence moods — to get the best experience from wines with music, one must have the right blend of the two. While the perfect match will make the wine taste better, a mismatch can make the wine taste worse.

The Brain and Your Surroundings

Our brains react to the environment and stimuli such as sounds and tastes. As such, if one wants to enhance the pleasure of wine and get the best experience from the flavors, one should pay attention to the kind of music listening to while drinking wine.

Additionally, different wines have been matched with different musical instruments — red wines are matched with the organ while their white counterparts are matched with the harp. As hinted earlier, high-tempo music will make wine taste heavy, while slow-tempo music does the opposite. Charles Spencer’s experiment at Oxford University also matched different flavors with sounds and suggested some of the best combinations.[2]

This Day in Wine History

January 27, 1756: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Austria and later gained recognition as one of the best music composers in the world. In addition to his astonishing compositions, Mozart loved Champagne and consumed glasses regularly. Perhaps his love of wine and its consumption could have been the secret behind his versatile, classic, and complex compositions.

March 31, 1685: Johann Sebastian Bach, who is recognized and dubbed “the father of classical music,” was born on this day. He had a seemingly close relationship with Beethoven, who had very close contact with vineyards and wine — thanks to his family’s connection to the wine trade.

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  1. “The Mystical Role Of Music In Winemaking | Coravin Blog”. 2022. Blog.Coravin.Com. https://blog.coravin.com/2019/08/22/the-mystical-role-of-music-in-winemaking/.
  2. “Can Music Make Wine Taste Better? – Decanter”. 2022. Decanter. https://www.decanter.com/learn/how-to/can-music-make-wine-taste-better-281761/.
Categories: This Day in Wine History | ArticlesTags: , , By Published On: August 10, 2022Last Updated: February 21, 2024

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