Wine: It’s Not Just For Pairing With Classical Music Anymore

noah | May 14, 2008 12:00 pm

Research funded by a Chilean winemaker has revealed that certain types of music actually pair well with certain types of wine, with various sonic qualities allegedly enhancing certain aspects of the wine’s taste and body “up to 60%.” Cognitive priming theory–in which music preps the brain to react to other aspects of a person’s environment–results in cabernet sauvignon’s taste being apparently well suited to “powerful and heavy” music; Chardonnay pairing well with “zingy and refreshing” music; syrah going nicely with “subtle and refined” songs; and merlot being well-matched with “mellow and soft” selections. (Unfortunately, Boone’s Farm wasn’t mentioned in the study’s findings, perhaps because any classic rock automatically makes it taste “totally freaking awesome” to all the college students embarking on long, dark nights of the soul who were surveyed.) After the jump, a few recommended pairings via my music collection and knowledge of wine:

Cabernet Sauvignon (powerful, heavy): • Soundgarden (1990 vintages only) • Andrew WK (be sure to use plastic cups)

Chardonnay (zingy, refreshing): • DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince’s “Summertime” (pairing the ultimate summer jam and jammy fruit flavors) • Miley Cyrus (but only the alcohol-free kind) (unless you’re her MySpace friend, right?)

Syrah (subtle, refined): • Broadcast (because it’s better than freaking “Orinoco Flow” and/or Vangelis, which were the BBC’s picks) • Nick Cave (according to some wine magazine editor, and really, when do you need an excuse to listen to Nick Cave?)

Merlot (mellow, soft): • Feist (not only does the description match, I don’t like merlot much either)

I hope to replicate these pairings (well, except the Feist one) at my upcoming DJ night, “Put This In Your Glass And Drink It.” OK, so said night will probably involve me swapping my iPod in at my local wine bar and ordering a flight, but we all have to start somewhere. I wonder if there’s a companion study about music and cheese?

How Guns & Roses can change your taste on wine [Times Online] Music “can enhance wine taste” [BBC]