The combination of wine and music is very ancient, pursued from antiquity onwards, from pre-Christian societies up to Capossela and Mannarino. Wine and music stimulate different areas of our brain, so their association multiplies the connections and gives a different and richer perception of wine. But what kind of tasting is it, really, that also uses music?
We ask Marco Barbetti , who is the best sommelier in Italy at FISAR 2018 as well as an excellent musician (he says "in his spare time"...).
What happens to our brain when we taste a wine and listen to music?
A study conducted by prof. Adrian North from the University of Edinburgh demonstrated a relationship between the areas of the brain stimulated by music and those stimulated by tasting.
When you drink a glass of wine while listening to a song, the active areas interact, influencing the perception of the various components of the wine.
In addition to sight, smell, touch and taste, we add hearing and give more depth to tasting...
Hearing is the sense that we least associate with the idea of tasting.
Although this is true most of the time, an attentive and expert taster can, for example, guess the density or fluidity of the wine by listening to the sound that the liquid makes as it is poured into the glass. Obviously we are only talking about an intuition, an idea that will necessarily have to be confirmed or not by visual examination. However, the study I mentioned earlier opens the doors to new matching possibilities that also take hearing into consideration.
The result is a complex and profound tasting. What if we also add food to this picture?
Speaking of food-wine combinations, the combinations that can be proposed are perfect only on a theoretical level. This is because all it takes is for the wine to be served at a different temperature, or for the dish to have a slightly higher quantity of salt or spices, or for longer cooking, and the balance is altered.
Since certain musical genres influence the perception of the characteristics of the wine , a third dimension of the pairing can be proposed, also involving hearing, in order to try to restore harmony between the sensations. Obviously we are talking about personal empirical tests, with different outcomes based on everyone's sensitivity.
Thus we arrive at a food-wine-music pairing. In this do you play with concordance or contrast?
In pairing, music serves to increase the perception of a taste sensation. For example, if we listen to metal while tasting, we perceive the sensations that are defined as "hard" more intensely; otherwise, a particularly soft and deep jazz piece increases the sensations of "softness" of the wine.
When pairing wine and music it is therefore better to prefer concordance. And finally, do you have a favorite food-wine-music pairing to recommend to us?
Try the dark chocolate and chilli pepper cake paired with a Moscato di Scanzo docg while listening to “Funny (But I still love you)” by Ray Charles (blues).