Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A land of pure imagination - Wine Blogging Wednesday on Music

What is the connection between our senses? How often do you notice yourself hating a particular taste or flavor when you are in a bad mood? Or a good mood? Or a jazzy mood? Or a rock mood?

Katie from Gonzo Gastronomy wanted us to explore just that. Katie's challenge is to experience for ourselves how different genre's of music make us feel about a wine. If perhaps a song is on that is particularly grating against your nerves, do you then think less of the wine you are tasting?

I had a hard time figuring out how this would work. How much thought should I put into this? Do I need to taste wines that I was familiar with or pick music I particularly liked or did not like? Should I shut the hell up and just turn on some tunes and pop some corks? Well, yes I should...

So I chose two wines that have been sitting in my storage that I wanted to try, the Big House Prodigal Son Petite Sirah 2005 and a bottle of McManis Family Vineyards Petite Sirah 2007. I chose them because I had no idea what was in the bottle. Well, at least only a slim idea (I have some experience with Petite Sirah).

For my musical inspiration, I chose to go with several stations from Pandora. That way I could add an element of random to the experiment, something no good scientist should do. Another reason why I am not a scientist.

The list of music that came out was:
  1. Shostakovic Prelude (25) for Piano Op. 31 - eventually someone will explain to me what all of those numbers and works mean. Still trying to figure out what prelude means
  2. Allman Brothers Ain't Wastin' Time No More
  3. Tracy Chapman Change
  4. David Cook A Daily Antham
And I was also joined by my lovely tasting helper.

And so it began...

On initial tasting (without music) I enjoyed the Big House was more enjoyable. I then started going back and forth between the two wines as the music played and I came to a conclusion.

Every time I tasted the McManis after the Big House I enjoyed both equally. Every time I tasted the Big House after the McManis I liked the Big House better. Looking at my notes, I could not find a real correlation between the music and the wine. Both were very tannic and juicy (as I expected). The McManis had more caramel and medium dark fruits, where the Big House had more sweet black cherry and chocolate.

A pleasant experiment and a good notion. Perhaps I am just not as in tune to the music as Katie is.
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