Evidence that wine tasting can be influenced was provided in the 2008 study from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. Their findings show us that music could increase wine scores by 60%. Discoveries included that listening to Jimi Hendrix enhanced Cabernet Sauvignon while Kylie Minogue went well with Chardonnay. (Jan Persson/Redferns).
Music is a tool for arousing emotions and feelings and has the ability to conjure up images and feelings. This phenomenon does have a certain level of mystery.
With experience in statistics, Robert Hodgson approached the organizers of the California State Fair wine competition and an experiment ensued at a June tasting session. Below is an excerpt from an article in The Guardian:
“The panel of four judges would be presented with their usual “flight” of samples to sniff, sip and slurp. But some wines would be presented to the panel three times, poured from the same bottle each time. The results would be compiled and analysed to see whether wine tasting really is scientific.
The first experiment took place in 2005. Hodgson’s findings have stunned the wine industry. Over the years he has shown again and again that even trained, professional palates are terrible at judging wine.
“The results are disturbing,” says Hodgson from the Fieldbrook Winery in Humboldt County, described by its owner as a rural paradise. “Only about 10% of judges are consistent and those judges who were consistent one year were ordinary the next year.”
Hodgson isn’t alone in questioning the science of wine-tasting. French academic Frédéric Brochet tested the effect of wine labels. He presented the same Bordeaux superior wine to 57 volunteers a week apart and in two different bottles – one for a table wine, the other for a grand cru. The tasters were fooled.
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So go ahead and buy some wine from, oh I don’t know, let’s say Massachusetts. But if you really want to maximize the pleasure of your guests, put on some Robert Cray while they sip. Those grapes will seemingly taste even better.