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Thursday, May 15, 2008

I'll have the Cabernet, accompanied by The Who

Wine NotesMusic can have an effect on the way listeners perceive the qualities of the wines they are drinking, according to a study performed for Viña Montes by the Heriot-Watt University of Edinburgh, Scotland.

When a powerful piece of music is played, a wine such as Montes Alpha's Cabernet Sauvignon is perceived as being 60 percent richer and more robust than when there is no musical accompaniment, according to Professor Adrian North. "It is widely acknowledged within the scientific community that music affects behavior," said North, who conducted the research. "However, this is the first time it has been scientifically proven that music can affect perception in other senses, and change the way wine tastes."

The research by North's Department of Applied Psychology is based on the theory of cognitive priming. This postulates that when a particular style of music is heard, it stimulates or 'primes' specific areas in the brain. Subsequently, when wine is tasted, these areas of the brain are already active and prime the taster to judge the wine in a corresponding way. The effect is more pronounced with red wines than with white, the study finds.

Music is already used in the production of Montes wines, as monastic chants are played to maturing casks of wine in the winery's Feng Shui-optimized barrel room. The company is now looking into adding music recommendations to its back labels.

That Arbor Crest Merlot ’03 I had a couple of nights ago was particularly good — or was it the London Symphony Orchestra's rendition of Dvorák's New World Symphony...?
J. Silverheels Gray, 8:41 AM


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