How to Pair Wine and Music



Some time back (2007?) I remember listening to a show on NPR about the relationships between wine and music. I was intrigued by the idea – as a musician I have always felt that music affects many things.

Since I was planning a party I decided to conduct an experiment at the party and having people write down their impressions of wine at various points after listening to a specific track. It was not very scientific, and the results were not conclusive, but the party was a huge hit resulting in us having to kick people out in the small hours because they would not leave on their own.

I find the whole idea fascinating (not to mention a great excuse to drink wine and listen to great music). I haven’t heard much about it since then and was wondering whether you have taken this analysis any further. If so I would love to know what the next steps are for this idea.

Thanks for coming up with such an innovative concept!


Dear Barry,

There’s quite a bit on this at I do classes and presentations, and I always post a playlist that goes with my wines.

I find sometimes when people don’t “get it” when first experiencing an unusual style or varietal, they can have their eyes opened by trying it with a good music pairing. It’s certainly a way to enhance any wine experience and get more for your money.

It’s really quite easy to work up a playlist. Just pop a bottle and download 30 second snippets from iTunes. You’ll see what works and what doesn’t. It’s a fun party game. Eventually you learn the emotional modality that the wine conveys, and you match it.

Bring your friends up to Santa Rosa sometime and we’ll play.