Under the influence
In collaboration with a Chilean wine producer, a Scottish university has found that different kinds of music make the palate react differently to wine.Updated: May 16, 2008, 20:51 IST
We all know — or at least some of us do — how alcohol can influence the music we’re listening to. Remember how, cross-eyed and blabbering you were when you said that Himesh Reshammiya was as awesome as the latest Celine Dion hit single? But here’s a new research taking the tune and pouring it on the alcohol. In collaboration with a Chilean wine producer, a Scottish university has found that different kinds of music make the palate react differently to wine. We don’t quite know how sober the data was, but it turns out that classic rock of the likes of the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix and the Who work well with Cabernet Sauvingnon. That the wine, noted for the ripeness of its grapes, goes with music by bands that are noted for the ripeness of their careers, may just be a subliminal thing that doesn’t necessarily infect the empirical study.
But it’s Chardonnay that has a pop twist to it, the white wine going with gems like Blondie’s Atomic and Tina Turner’s What’s Love Got To Do With It. And like pop hits from the stables of the likes of Robbie Williams, Chardonnay also has the tag of backlash — the sort of thing that you secretly liked once and then moved on to finer stuff. Things apparently get a notch posher if you’re having the powerful red Syrah wine. The research shows that if you’re listening to Puccini’s Neesun Dorma — the Pavarotti glass-breaking version — then you’ll twirl that Syrah better on your tongue. But then, the study shows that in the same category, there is Vangelis’ soundtrack theme from Chariots of Fire — which could work with the wine, in our un-esteemed opinion if you’re sipping the stuff in the elevator.
Which brings us to what could have been discovered if the scientists had been a little more in touch with the club and concert scene. For one, you don’t have to be a PhD to know that to enjoy your drop of E or extra-long spliff, one of those DJ Mindfreak extended jams can be helpful. Unofficial research even in this country has found a correlation between enjoying one’s ‘strong’ beer — as packaged in Haryana — when consumed to the dulcet strains of Daler Mehndi. Which makes the findings of another study — that has found that soft music can ease blood pressure — seem less exciting. After all, when you’re listening to things unplugged — Ozzy Osbourne included — your mind does also tend to get unplugged. Haven’t you wondered why listening to pan pipes makes you brain dead?