People that are close to me will know that there is one more thing that I am positively passionate about besides wine, and that is music. I myself cannot play an instrument (to any extent worth mentioning), just like I cannot make my own wine (to any extent at all). So I had to think that there must be a link between these two disciplines if they both spark my intrigue so much.
I started my search on the world wide web to try and see if anyone else has found the missing link. Turns out, there are quite a few musicians and artists that have the same obsession that I have. So much so that they have written songs about their love for wine! Legendary blues artist Stevie Ray Vaughn once sang “Well I love my baby like the finest wine / Stick with her until the end of time”. Ok, so maybe the song isn’t about his love for wine, but he loves his wine just as much as his lady- which I think is saying quite a lot. And then I think back to my childhood days singing ‘Tiny Bubbles’ by Don Ho while splashing around in the bathtub- how was I supposed to know that the whole song is about Champagne? Even Jay-Z is educating the “youth of today” about Bordeaux and Burgandies (in a slightly unorthodox way) with his song ‘Tom Ford’.
I have also only recently come to realise what an influence the music that is played in a tasting room has on the overall wine experience. We all know that music is a great way to improve the so-called atmosphere, but by playing the right kind, it can help to awaken all the senses- including your taste buds. And it is enhanced even more if the music is performed live. Sure, most tasting centres opt for the very predictable smooth jazz or ever-pleasing slow blues (both of which I personally enjoy and it certainly does work), but I believe that with a little creativity it would even be possible to “pair” music and wine. Just think how your senses might be tingled when you listen to some soft pop whilst sipping on your Pinot gris, or maybe open a bottle of your favourite Chardonnay next time you turn on the stereo to listen to some Chopin- you might just like the wine even more than before.
My personal favourite music & wine combination intertwines two things that are very dear to my heart- Shiraz and rock n’ roll. Some might say that wine is not really a “rock n’ roll drink” and might even prefer whisky or gin, but nothing says hard-core, in-your-face flavour like a strong, snaring Shiraz. The bold, ballsy taste that is left in your mouth after a good glass full is nothing short of a Mick Jagger dance move. And if you are lucky enough to enjoy that glass full whilst you are listening to some Led Zeppelin, you will be sure to find yourself ascending the ‘Stairway to Heaven’.
Whether you like rock, pop, classical or R&B; Shiraz, Pinotage, Chenin or Chardonnay- I am sure there is a music and wine combination out there that will get your foot tapping and your taste buds tingling.