“Give me books, French wine, fruit, fine weather and a little music played out of doors by somebody I do not know.” —John Keats
By Lebbie Musavaya
Have you ever stopped to think whether wine bars and restaurants, wine retailers, wine festivals or any wine lovers’ event for that matter, have a reason for the music they play? Is it possible in any way, that the music playing in the background may influence your decisions for buying or drinking a particular wine? Or perhaps, does music have the power to change your thoughts? All I can say is the entire wine experience does have external influences. How would I explain this… I often find myself enjoying a brand of wine I otherwise wouldn’t have, but the fact that I am having it with my girlfriends, totally changes everything.
Several studies and discussions have over the years been done on music and wine, and the relationship between the two. Based on psychological scientist Adrian North’s latest research that, “background music influenced the taste of the wine by up to 60%. Of 250 students studied, the results showed that the music did effect the drinker’s perception of the wine on a consistent basis.” North and his colleagues further considered that, “specific songs or musical genres could prime congruent concepts in a person’s memory, ultimately shifting people’s preferences and buying behaviour. Hearing Edith Piaf in the grocery store may then be just the thing to nudge a buyer to choose a French wine over an Italian or South African.”
I know I have often walked into my favourite liquor shops and certain genres of music uplift me with a “feel good” mood. There are certain occasions I do recall though, when I have bought more wine than I had initially set out to, but have never given a thought to the likely reasons. Could it have been external influences?
I have been to several wine festivals, both outdoors and indoors with music playing a huge role on the ambience. Some of my most enjoyable wine moments have been at these social events. Because we’re talking about wine and music, is it possible that on the few occasions I have wanted to purchase bottles of wines tasted and enjoyed at wine fests, and I have been told stocks have run out, I can never get myself to make the purchases a day or two later. Perhaps the connection between the music and wine will have influenced me to make certain decisions and when the two are not fused, everything falls apart.
I have often seen people expressing their excitement at the mention of a live band at a wine festival. There seems to be a consensus at how live bands liven up the place and send wine lovers on a happy wave. I personally love music, because, on its own, it digs into my inner soul and allows me to float into a space known to me, and me only. Pairing wine with music connects a deeper meaning of enjoyment and it brings soul and life into me.
Wine of the week
Solms Astor Cape Jazz Shiraz
This 100% Shiraz sparkling with an exciting lure holds a special place in my wine life. With its delicate fruity sweetness and bubbly tease, it will lace every palate with freshness, enjoyment and be warned, Cape Jazz addiction. The wine’s name combines Richard Astor’s, “love of music with his dislike of pomposity.” How about trying a glass with friends and music?
Wine lovers, can we then say that music has the ability to change the way we picture and taste a wine? Or, maybe what we really want to highlight is the way in which music and our love for music breathes life into the wine through its magnetism? I think we can at least come to an agreement at how a mutual relationship exists between music and wine.
My friend, since high school, swears she drinks more wine when listening to Rock music. Allow music and wine to whisper to you wine lovers. Let the music leap out of your glass and enjoy the sound of music and wine. Until next week, it’s a lively cheer, with friends, music and a glass of Cape Jazz Shiraz.