Wine & Music Pairing, Chris Isaak, #49 for #45, and other Notes on a Wine Card

Two of my regular customers at The Tasting Room – Jenny and Heather, owners of  Mary’s Market that awesome breakfast and lunch spot in the Canyon – planted a seed in my mind about the effect of music on wine tasting. Last Friday after they “requested” – and I use that term loosely for lack of a better term than “screaming demand” – I play some Chris Isaak and Eddie Vedder at the Tasting Room, I could sense that the music was having a positive effect on them enjoying their wine even more than before the music started. So, this week I am hosting a Chris Isaak Music and Wine Pairing!

I will be playing songs by Chris Isaak all night long.  I have selected 10 of his songs to pair with the four wines.  You select the song that goes best with each wine. Bring your smartphone with you so you can listen to the songs when you’re tasting the wines. I’ll send you a link to the songs when you start your tasting.   Check out the wines and songs that I am pairing this Thursday and Friday below.

You probably scoff at the thought of music influencing the way you perceive wine.  Studies now show that what people taste when evaluating a wine, and how much they enjoy the experience, can be influenced by the music that happens to be playing at the same time. It’s also been known that what we hear can influence the hedonic aspects (relating to, characterized by, or considered in terms of pleasant (or unpleasant) sensations) of tasting. Other studies now show that by playing the “right” music one can also impact specific sensory-discriminative aspects of tasting as well, in other words, music is shown to influence the perceived acidity, sweetness, fruitiness, astringency, and length of wine.

These fascinating studies by C. Spence and QJ Wang are posted on the website Experimental Psychology.  Other studies by other scientists research the effect of closure type of wine bottles on wine ratings and mood, while another study researches whether people respond better to a wine label that has an upward pointing triangle as opposed to a downward pointing triangle.

If you’re wondering whether people like the sound of the pop of a cork versus the sound of a screwcap being opened, the wine quality was rated higher and the celebratory mood of the wine drinker was rated higher when a cork pop was heard!

As for the upward facing triangle versus the downward facing triangle, participants responded more rapidly when searching for a wine bottle with a downward-pointing triangle on its label! I’ll have to pay more attention to the wines with triangles on the label that we have in the shop!

#49 for #45 – I know Robert Mueller has 48 questions for Trump. I would add #49 – what’s with the hair dude?

The Mercury News had an article on industrial park wineries throughout California.  There’s a mention of the Lompoc Wine Ghetto which houses some of my favorite wineries.  Fiddlehead Cellars, Flying Goat Cellars, Stolpman Vineyards, and Tyler Winery all have a tasting room located in the industrial park. Brewer-Clifton has a tasting room nearby also. Check out the article here Industrial Park Wines

While you’re visiting Lompoc, make sure you have a meal at Industrial Eats in Buellton. This is a  must stop with an amazing menu featuring pizza, oysters, uni, and sandwiches!  Another must stop place to eat is The Hitching Post in Casmalia.  Superb steaks, grilled artichokes, and grilled quail are some of my favorites on the menu. It’s about a 30 minute drive from Lompoc but well worth it!

Here’s the list of wines and songs for this week’s Chris Isaak Music & Wine Pairing!

Quinta de Couselo “Turonia” Albariño, Rias Baixas 2016   $19.99 “Blue Spanish Sky”, “San Francisco Days”

Von Buhl Bone Dry Spatburgunder (Pinot Noir) “Bone Dry” Rosé, Pfalz 2016   $19.99  “Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing”, “I Want You to Want Me”

Stolpman “Para Maria de los tecolotes” Red Wine, Santa Barbara County 2016   $23.99   “I Believe”, “South of the Border”, “It’s Now or Never”   93 Points Wine Enthusiast “Editors’ Choice”  #51 Enthusiast 100 

Emancipation Red Wine, California 2015   $29.99  “Wicked Game”, “Solitary Man”, “Oh, Pretty Woman”    92 Points Wine Advocate


Don’t fret over which wines to serve with certain foods.  Here’s a simple rule….





1 Comment

  1. I love me some Isaak. You can keep the wine, I’ll take Chris anytime. Have fun. Your little sister, Miss P.


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