Wine tastes finer with classical music, study findsMarch 12, 2022
Brahms and bliss: Wine’s finer with classical music because it enhances our perception of taste, study finds
- Wine expert Susan Lin, based in San Francisco, US, conducted a blind taste test
- People tasted five glasses containing the same champagne, a Veuve Clicquot
- At the same time, music played – making participants detect different tastes
- When drinking in silence, participants found the wine less bubbly and less fruity
Listening to classical music makes wine taste better – because it enhances our perception of taste, researchers have found.
The more exciting a piece of music, the more exciting drinkers find what is in their glass, the study revealed.
By contrast, wine enthusiasts should avoid drinking their favourite tipple in silence if they want to get the best out of it.
Wine expert Susan Lin – who conducted the study – found that playing music while sipping champagne makes it taste fruitier, bubblier and more complex.
Miss Lin, a Master of Wine, conducted a blind taste test in which she had participants taste wine from five different glasses while playing a piece of music for each one.
Listening to classical music makes wine taste better – because it enhances our perception of taste, researchers find after conducting a blind taste test with and without background music. Stock image of a couple enjoying champagne
The participants did not know that each glass was filled with the same champagne, a Veuve Clicquot non-vintage yellow label brut.
Miss Lin, who is also a classically trained pianist, selected four contrasting pieces of music and then asked people to taste their fifth glass in silence.
Participants were asked to rank each glass for complexity, fruitiness, how bubbly it was, freshness and how much they enjoyed the wine and music.
Music universally improved perception of taste when compared with silence – and of her 71 participants, 70 believed they were tasting five different wines.
Miss Lin, based in San Francisco, US, told Decanter magazine that even participants who disliked classical music still preferred a tipple with music instead of silence.
When listening to classical music, participants in the study said they found the same champagne bubblier, fruitier and more complex. Pictured: French violinist Renaud Capucon performing on stage
Speaking to the GuildSomm wine podcast, Miss Lin said: ‘When people thought the music was exciting, they also felt the wine was exciting.
And the more exciting it was, the bubblier the wine was perceived to be.
Wine liking ratings for all four musical selections were higher than silence.’
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