It must be in the air

~There must be something in the autumn air that brings out plans and schemes, and new products connected to wine.
~Or maybe the wine world is paying the price for its new mainstream status, for its growth, for its relative difficult to understand persona.
~In the past couple of weeks stories have broken concerning the latest research finding that has produced either a new product or a product soon to be stirred by new research, each of which will make the pleasure we derive from consuming wine even better.
~My last blog entry was about the product that you can take to a restaurant to dip in your glass of wine to find out beforehand if that particular wine will give you a headache.
~A few days following that entry I heard about an M.I.T. dropout turned wine producer/consultant who claims that in studies he has performed, it has been proven that music changes the taste of wine—not that music changes our mood and therefore our perception of taste, which I believe it does, but that music literally changes the taste of the wine.

In a San Francisco Chronicle story, the fellow is supposed to have said, “…it’s not possible to record a generic ‘music to drink wine by’ CD because a song that might make Pinot Noir taste great can make Cabernet Sauvignon taste awful. You have to pay attention to individual music and wine pairings.”

~No mention was made of a particular musical product coming on the market any time soon, yet some guy at Muzak seemed to perk up his ears; deaf to music as those people are, I’m not sure I’d want them trying to get me to drink a certain wine.
~I am convinced that a CD of music to make a cheap Pinot Noir taste like Burgundy is in the oven. Hey, with thousands of wines produced in this world, the CD industry, not to mention music composers and musicians, may have found a years-in-the-making profit center!
~The fellow who has this idea has a reputation for off-the-wall concepts. He is credited with being the one responsible for the so-called “sweet spot” concept, which essentially says that alcohol levels have a certain spot that is harmonious to a large majority of people. This is in part a theory that explains the recent surge in alcohol levels in wine, kind of like the means justifying the end.

I suppose after the dining room table stops rising and the spirits stop blowing out the candles on the table, a guy’s still gotta earn a living.

Hey, I wonder if it was the Rock ‘n’ Roll that used to make high alcohol Thunderbird wine taste so bad those many years ago…

~In another incident, I received a phone call from a woman I’ve known for twenty years. Her daughter is married to a wine aficionado—a physician. She wants to get him something special for Christmas. When she heard about a wine decanter that comes with a silver cap through which the wine flows when you pour it into your glass and, get this, improves the quality of the wine, she told her mother about it.
~Skeptical, her mother called me and of course I confirmed reasons to be skeptical.
~I’ve never even heard of such a product and I fear that either my friend or her daughter may have gotten their information messed up.

In any event, I told my friend to tell her daughter that instead of giving her husband a gadget to improve the quality of his wine, she should buy him high quality wine for Christmas!

~Finally, an academic from California posted on a wine bulletin board what he thinks is a great idea to quantify the “dimensionality of wine’s taste.”
~In a nutshell, he believes he might be able to devise THE supreme wine rating system, one that would personalize your wine choices by telling you exactly what it is about any wine that you will like or dislike, and the exact food to pair with that wine.
~Maybe he can do it and maybe he can’t, but I’m betting on the “can’t” portion of the maybe, especially since he seems to think he has to start out by establishing consensus agreement over standards of quality relating to acidity, alcohol, tannin, oh hell, why am I even bothering to go on with the list.

I couldn’t convince this man that the myriad nuances connected to wine have already doomed his effort, but I tried.

Happy reading.

Music and Wine Headaches


P.S. You may have noticed at times that the number of comments shown at the bottom of the entry does not correspond with the actual comments posted. That’s because someone in upstate New York hacks into the blog to try to sell his anti-hacking software. His “comment” never appears, only a registration of his hack job.  If I buy his product, he will likely stop hacking into the comments, something that strikes me as a form of blackmail. The server has been told, but can’t seem to do anything about it.

Copyright, Thomas Pellechia
November 2007. All Rights Reserved.

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