Musings on Wine

Music & Wine Matching Tool

Music soothes and satisfies just as wine does. Some bad music is hard on the ears just like poorly made wines can be rather hard on the palate. It's not uncommon to see wine publications matching a particular artist or CD to a specific wine. Problem is, no one ever explains how they come up with such random pairings.

Music comes in many forms. Amongst many others, there is the emotion and complexity of classical, the syncopation and stimulation of jazz, the searing guitar riffs and deep bass of heavy metal and the gentle and soothing appeal of folk.

Wine too comes in many forms, so how does one decide which music to listen to whilst sipping a glass of wine? I suspect most of us just choose what we are in the mood for based on the selections we have at our disposal.  Do we choose the music first and the wine after, or vice versa? Perhaps there is actually no connection between the two and the individual chooses music based on one desire, and wine based on another entirely separate need. I wonder, however, if like wine and food, there is an opportunity to reach deeper into the pleasure centres of our brains by pairing music and wine more consciously and dare I say, correctly?

For the sake of argument, let's say that wine & music moods might be connected and when properly matched, like food, the resulting combination can enhance the overall enjoyment of both. Here are some basic observations I've made when considering the music and wine partnership:

Low Frequency Sound (e.g. bass, deep synth) = Full Bodied Wine

High Frequency Sound (e.g. violin, falsetto vocals) = High Acid or Sparkling Wine

Rich Satisfying Sound (e.g. a powerful symphony) = Complex Dry (or Sweet) Wine

Simple Satisfying Sound (e.g. acoustic guitar, solo adagios) = Mellow, Smooth Wine

Abrasive Loud Sound (e.g. rock guitar solo, screaming voice) = Tannic or Bitter Wine

Fast Paced, Energetic Sound (e.g. disco or upbeat jazz music) = Fruity, Easy-Drinking Wine


Using these parameters, I've chosen the appropriate wines to match the following musical selections:

A. Tesla - Forever More requires a full bodied, tannic wine. Examples might include an Italian Sagrantino di Montefalco or traditional French Cahors or Madiran.

B. Ralph Vaughan Williams - The Lark Ascending requires a high acid or sparkling wine, however one with complexity. Examples might include good quality Rheingau Riesling or young NV Champagne.

C. Pat Metheny - Last Train Home requires an easy drinking wine that slips down the throat with ease and delivers instant pleasure. Examples might include a good quality Cru Beaujolais or Valpolicella Ripasso.

D. Moby - God Moving Over The Face of The Waters requires a somewhat complex, mature easy-drinking wine with some bright fruit and balanced acidity. Examples include a 5 year old Martinborough Pinot Noir or 3 year old Wachau Gruner Veltliner.

E. Wagner - Ride of The Valkryies requires a relatively straight-forward but powerful wine that makes an instant impact on the palate. Examples include a young Amador Zinfandel or Mendoza Malbec.

Clearly this is not a complete assessment of all music and all wine. My goal is simply to open your mind to the unique possibilities that exist when considering the two together. If it gets you thinking a little more about the wine you consume and the pleasure you seek in those few moments life affords us to do so, then I've achieved my objective.

Try this wine & music matching tool and share your comments in the section below.



your Comments

WineFoodMood Man said ...

Sounds delicious Michel, however Sylvian's voice adds depth and weight to this piece so I might suggest sticking with a heavier Daiginjo sake, with distilled alcohol added rather than the more delicate and pure Junmai version.

Michel Rod said ...

..........and a nice warm Junmai DaiginjŨ-shu sake to accompany Ryuichi Sakamoto and David Sylvian's Forbidden Colours from Merry Christmas Mister Lawrence.......

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