Can music influence our wine and the way it tastes?

music and wine

Can music influence our wine and the way it tastes?

Music has the power to alter our emotions and change the way we perceive things around us, that’s a fact.

But would it be possible that people drinking wine with the accompaniment of music would perceive the wine to have taste characteristics reflecting the nature of the concurrent music?
Read this article and discover some of the most intriguing discoveries about tongue, music and wine.


Limitations of the tongue

In a 2001 experiment,  Frédéric brochet from the University of Bordeaux, invited 57 wine experts and asked them to give impressions of what looked like two glasses : one of red wine and another one of white wine.
However the white wine has been tinted red with food coloring.
As surprising as it is, no one noticed it was actually a white wine !
Some experts praised its jamminess while another enjoyed its crushed red fruit.

Brochet explained these results with one sentence : « our expectations of what the wine will taste like can be much more powerful in determining how you taste the wine than the actual physical qualities of the wine itself».

Can music influence how we taste the wine

To answer to these question Adrian north testing out the taste perceptions of 250 students :
They were given one of two glasses of wine : red or white.
They listened four songs with different musical classifications.  For the fifth group there was no music while they drank.
The experiment used four songs and classify them as follows:
  • Group 1: Powerful and heavy characteristics (Carmina Burana by Orff)
  • Group 2: Subtle and refined characteristics (Waltz of the Flowers from Tchaikovsky’s ‘Nutcracker’)
  • Group 3: Zingy and refreshing characteristics (Just Can’t Get Enough by Nouvelle Vague)
  • Group 4: Mellow and soft characteristics (Slow Breakdown by Michael Brook)
  • Group 5: Control group characteristics (No Music)
After 5 minutes of tasting they were asked to describe the wines.
It turns out that the majority of participants chose the description that had been been assigned to the song they heard.

For example both red and white wines were given the highest ratings for being powerful and easy by the participants who drank during the song of Carmina Burana.
The researchers found that the participants tended to describe the wines in similar ways to the characteristics of the music that was playing.
The results of the music showed that the music had a consistent effect on the perception of the wine for the participants.

Ambiance of restaurants

That’s maybe explaining why the majority of high-end restaurants often have elaborate music playing in the background.
of course this is true also for the decoration of the restaurant, for instance when we eat a meal in a fancy place full of elaborate place settings, the food will taste different than if we eat the same in a basic restaurant.

After reading this article, would you consider music as a company as beer and cheese is ?

 

Credit photo : Jeannette Burch

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