Wine is better with classical music because it improves our perception of taste, study finds

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Brahms and bliss: Wine is more refined with classical music because it enhances our perception of taste, study finds

  • Wine expert Susan Lin, based in San Francisco, USA, conducted a blind taste test
  • People tasted five glasses containing the same champagne, a Veuve Clicquot
  • At the same time, music was playing – allowing participants to detect different tastes
  • By drinking in silence, participants found the wine less sparkling and less fruity

Listening to classical music improves the taste of wine because it improves our perception of taste, researchers have found.

The more exciting a piece of music is, the more drinkers find what’s in their drink, the study finds.

On the other hand, wine lovers should avoid drinking their favorite drink in silence if they want to get the most out of it.

Wine expert Susan Lin – who led the study – found that playing music while sipping champagne makes the taste fruitier, more sparkling and more complex.

Miss Lin, a Master of Wine, conducted a blind taste test in which she asked participants to taste wine from five different glasses while playing a piece of music for each.

Listening to classical music improves the taste of wine – because it improves our perception of taste, researchers find after performing a blind taste test with and without background music. Image of a couple enjoying champagne

The participants were unaware that each glass was filled with the same champagne, a non-vintage yellow label Veuve Clicquot brut.

Miss Lin, who is also a classically trained pianist, selected four contrasting pieces of music and then asked people to enjoy their fifth drink in silence.

Participants were asked to rank each glass according to its complexity, fruitiness, sparkling character, freshness and appreciation of wine and music.

Music universally improved perception of taste compared to silence – and of its 71 participants, 70 thought they were tasting five different wines.

Miss Lin, based in San Francisco, US, told Decanter magazine that even attendees who didn’t like classical music still preferred a drink with music over silence.

When listening to classical music, study participants reported finding the same champagne more bubbly, fruitier and more complex.  Pictured: French violinist Renaud Capucon performing on stage

When listening to classical music, study participants reported finding the same champagne more bubbly, fruitier and more complex. Pictured: French violinist Renaud Capucon performing on stage

Speaking to wine podcast GuildSomm, Miss Lin said: “When people thought music was exciting, they also thought wine was exciting.

And the more exciting it was, the more the wine was perceived as sparkling.

Wine appreciation ratings for all four music selections were higher than silence.

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