Music and Wine

I’ve been blogging about music a lot lately.  I’ve written about some of my favorite drinking songs, how hard it is to discover new music, and my feelings on the new version of MySpace Music.

Today, I’m going to take a slightly different approach and discuss the similarities between two of my very favorite things in life– music, and wine.

You gotta kiss a lot of frogs– and drink a lot of wine

They say you have to kiss a lot of frogs before meeting a prince.  You also have to drink a lot of wine to figure out what you really like.  Most beginning wine drinkers will emphatically state that they don’t like red wine.  “It’s too dry,” they say.  Or they don’t like the idea of drinking it at room temperature. But if you taste enough reds, you’ll realize that it’s probably not the “dryness” that’s causing your reaction. It’s probably the amount of tannin or the fullness of the wine you don’t like.  Try enough of them, and you’re bound to find a combination that suits you. 

That’s how I feel about music.  Saying that you don’t like country, or blues, or hip hop is just like saying you can’t stand red wine.  There are so many different flavors and influences in each genre, that if you listen to enough of it, you’ll probably find something you like.   I don’t care much for contemporary country (you know, the stuff they play on the radio), but I like a LOT of alt.country and southern-rock bands.  And although I despise the sexism and violence in a lot of rap songs, there’s something about the rhymes of Eminem and Snoop Dogg that really resonate with me.  

A refined palate

By tasting a variety of wine, you can start to get a feel for what you like.  Personally, I prefer bold, full-bodied reds with some spice and not a lot of fruitiness.  Knowing this, I can go into any wine shop and get a good recommendation.  Same is true of music.  I have a general idea of what I like, but I’m always on the lookout for something new and unexpected. 

But the problem is, there’s not really a music equivalent to the wine shop guy to help me with my choices. Here’s where my friends, family, and (to a lesser extent) the Internet come in.  I need other people to be my surrogate wine guy to “turn me on” to different artists.

A Perfect Pairing

One of the true pleasures of wine is learning to pair it with food.  It doesn’t have to be as complicated as people make it out to be.  Red wine goes with red meat.  White wine goes with white meat.  Light-bodied wines go with light food, fuller-bodied wines pair well with heavier food.  Spicy wine + spicy food = heaven in my book! 

Just as there’s a wine for every dish, there’s music for every occasion.  As I’ve mentioned before, when I’m in a bad mood, I like loud, angry music. When I’m needing calm, I like mellower music.  Sometimes when I’m feeling bad I like to wallow in it with sad tunes (my old roomate took away my Air Supply CD for just this reason) and sometimes I’d rather put on some upbeat tunes to cheer myself up.  I can’t really think of any occasion where music detracts, rather than enhances, the experience.

The combination of music and wine is unbeatable.  Whether it’s a glass and the iPod at home or a grand piano at a swanky wine bar, nothing says relaxation quite like some good vino and some good tunes.

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One response to “Music and Wine

  1. Cool comparisons – if you ever need a ‘wine shop guy’ for NZ wines – I’m happy to help :)

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