Psychology at play: Does music affect the taste of wine? – there is research about that question!

The 4-4-15 edition of the Wall Street Journal (which has excellent technology, science and health reporting) has a fun article about psychological research of how music affects the taste of wine. This article, “Can Music Change the Way Your Wine Tastes?”, discusses both actual research done by psychologists and some very subjective, but playful and fun, “research” done by the author and others.

Several actual, scientific (e.g. with hypotheses, control groups, etc) studies were discussed. The research from one study found that music “did have a measurable impact on the impression of the wine; When lively music was playing, the group overwhelmingly found the wine to be lively, and when powerful music was playing, the wine seemed powerful as well. When the music was mellow and soft, the participants found the same qualities in their glasses.”

The author also interviewed some wine experts, including the musician Boz Scaggs, who also owns a vineyard in Napa and who provided subjective support for the author’s hypothesis but a pretty cryptic answer when pressed for details: There might be a bottle of Châteauneuf-du-Pape that goes well with my outlook on life,”

The author goes on to conduct her own semi, perhaps slightly, scientific study with friends and a blinded tasting with Mr. Scaggs’ wines, and her admittedly subject results indeed found that different musical styles affect the taste of wine.

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