Flavourful Mélodie

Music and Wine I : shapes, pitches, rythms

Did you know?

Wine and music have been linked for a long time, here a few facts about researches concerning this beautiful interaction

  • Crossmodal correspondences ( aka associating roundness and sweetness, brightness and high pitch...) are used to study the relationship between music and wine, directing the taster's attention to a particular feature of the beverage while listening to a specific piece. Basically “what we hear could influence what we think about what we taste”
  • Wine and music go so well together because they share common descriptors : a soft wine/music, heavy music/wine, and even anthropomorphic features.

  • Some songs seem to go particularly well with given wines, yet the opposite is also true: a dissociation music-wine will reduce the tasting experience and promote further features (astringency, alcohol, oak) to seem more dominant.

  • Wines have gotten better ratings and a “sweeter” taste while listening to matching music versus being tasted silently:

Domaine Didier Dagueneau, Blanc Fumé de Pouilly
Mozart’s Flute Quartet No 1 in D major, K 285-Movement 1, Allegro
Domaine Ponsot, Clos de la Roche 2009
Ravel’s String Quartet in F major-Movement 1, Allegro moderato-très doux
Château Margaux 2004
Tchaikovsky’s String Quartet No 1 in D major-Movement 2, Andante cantabile

  • Music does not create new aromas or flavors, but enhances or diminishes the astringency (dryness), acidity  mouthwatering), fruitiness etc.. depending on the song played, changing the taster’s overall perception: he can love the wine because of its smooth texture, yet not being able to drink the same wine when bitterness takes over as the music changes.

  • Music can change people’s mood, for a happier or sadder tone. Negative emotions reduce one’s sense of smell, while bitterness and saltiness appear lessen if feeling anxious.

  • Tasters have agreed that a “right” or “wrong” wine-music pairing exists, despite their personal taste in music or wine.

  • Changes in tempo, volume, timbre and other musical patterns (shifting from major to minor, or changing genres ( ex. Bohemian Rhapsody, anyone?) affect how we perceive wine within the same piece. We'd need a “video game music” that seems to be evolving yet remains the same to have better analysis.

  • Researchers are composing specific pieces of music to study particular wine features.

  • Experience tasters, winemakers and trained musicians still to be confirmed is affected the same way.
  • Would winemakers start selling bottles with a correspondent music indicated on the label to enhance the tasting experience?
  • Would restaurants decide to play certain music to enhance a Syrah’s violets, or reduce the oak presence in a young vintage?

Click here to listen to the different playlists for each variety according the researches. These lists continue to be updated! Please do share your personal choices with us!


Cabernet Sauvignon,



Stay tuned for Music and Wine II : Synesthesia, the touch of music and feeling of wine.

Thank you to the following sources to provide us with such an amazing and insightful material.