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This post was originally written for Vinspire and is reproduced here with their kind permission.

I have often heard people say that wine is a quite esoteric concept and that they struggle to comprehend it. In this post I try to make it more accessible by explaining some popular wines through a different medium – composers. After all, as Robert Fripp said: “music is the wine that fills the cup of silence”…

Riesling / Beethoven:

Refined, elegant, beautiful. But more than that, an underlying complexity and intensity that isn’t immediately apparent. With age both develop into something truly wonderful.

Pinot Noir / J. S. Bach:

Ethereal, sublime, enticing, fantastical. This is the holy grail, a fleeting glimpse of perfection and true beauty.

Bordeaux / Mahler:

Power and a delicate beauty in a perfect combination. Plenty of finesse on show, but also raw energy and passion.

Syrah / Prokofiev:

Spicy, spiky, powerful, balanced.

Chardonnay / Rachmaninov:

Can be truly beautiful. Perhaps suffers from being a little too well-known. Both of them feature in Bridget Jones’ Diary.

Chianti / Puccini:

Fruity, voluptuous, sexy. Best enjoyed outside on a piazza in Tuscany.

Champagne / Wagner:

Famous, very famous, but to really understand it takes a tremendous amount of dedicated study. Changes greatly, and improves, with age. Takes on a more complex and profound character. Best enjoyed slowly.

Malbec / Liszt:

Dark, moody, brilliant, intense.

Pinot Grigio / Mozart:

Dull. Uninspiring. Popular – I have no idea why.

4 thoughts on “Wine and Music

  1. Hmmm, this is interesting to see that music, same as wine, is quite polarizing : ) I love Mozart, and would never pair it with something as boring as Pinot Grigio. I also don’t see Bach and Pinot Noir aligning. And what happened with Tchaikovsky and Strauss?

    • Ha! I knew that writing something like this would cause some consternation… Plenty of people do like Mozart, but I’ve never seen the attraction – I suppose it’s being a trumpet player! I am fan of both Tchaik and Strauss – what are your wine match suggestions for them??

      • Tchaikovsky is probably a nice, clean, balanced and powerful California Cab. Strauss should be an exuberant, plump and clean white – may be an Italian Sauvignon Blanc or Northern Rhone white

      • Interesting. Instinctively I would have had Strauss as a red. I think his work is too big and bold for a white, I was thinking about a Zin. If I wanted a wine to drink during his Alpine Symphony (one of my all-time favourites) I think a nice Zin would go down a treat!

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