A Musical Whine

May 15, 2008

Hot on the heels of my previous post on wine, now there is news that your choice of music can change the taste of wine.

Playing a certain type of music can enhance the way wine tastes, research by psychologists suggests. The Heriot Watt University study found people rated the change in taste by up to 60% 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 …

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.

Earlier research by the same Professor Adrian North has shown that listening to accordion music encouraged the purchase of French wine in a supermarket, while playing an oompah band helped sales of German wines. The wine-sozzled mind is a very odd thing!