Wine to accompany your favorite music… | Wine

Dr Loosen Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Kabinett, Moselle Germany 2020 (£15.99, Waitrose) There is a temptation to poke fun at attempts by wine retailers and writers to do a trick by associating wine with music. Other than demonstrating your superior taste in not one but two areas, what is the point? It’s not like finding a wine to go with food, where even if you’re skeptical about how much of a difference it makes to your meal, you could at least accept that both elements work in the same sensory space. . Academic research in the field by Professor Charles Spence of Oxford University, however, suggests that the music-wine pairing is much more than a fanciful idea. According to Spence, a wine like Loosen’s Mosel Riesling will taste more or less spicy, more or less racy, and more or less enjoyable, depending on what you listen to.

Kozlovic Teran, Istria, Croatia 2020 (£14.25, wine on shelf) An intriguing idea from Spence’s Intermodal Research Lab is the constant correspondence between certain flavor elements and sounds. Most people associate bitterness, for example, with low-pitched sounds, while sweetness and sourness tend to correspond to higher-pitched sounds. You can see why mildly sweet and tart Moselle Rieslings like those from Loosen are consistently associated with melodic, high-pitched classical music like Vivaldi. More difficult, I imagine, are wines such as Kozlovic’s wonderful but challenging Teran. A red wine that is very but pleasantly bitter, ripe sour-berry and extremely acidic, in musical terms it most closely resembles something discordant from Stockhausen or Einstürzende Neubauten.

Taylor’s LBV Port, Douro, Portugal 2017 (£10, Sainsbury’s) Research has shown that it’s not just music that has identifiable effects on our taste buds. There are many intersections between the senses, and tasting wine in the dark, or in red light, or at different temperatures, will change the way we experience it and describe it. Spence wrote about a Vietnamese cafe that plays what he calls “soft music” to accentuate the sweetness of its reduced-sugar cakes and pastries. But rather than this kind of subtle, behavior-altering application, I think pairing music and wine is more helpful in pinpointing the characteristics of a wine. For me, comparing the sumptuous, deep, velvety richness of Taylor’s excellent LBV Port to, say, the suave romantic sweep of kind of blue-era Miles Davis is a better way to remember what I liked than a list of fruity adjectives.

Follow David Williams on Twitter @Daveydaibach

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