Can Music Alter the Taste of Wine?

Music house SoStereo tries novel aging process

Can rambunctious rhythms and bouncy beats performed by indie rock duo Wolves alter the "tasting notes"—sweetness, acidity, etc.—in bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon?

The concept sounded like a winner to SoStereo, a Miami and L.A.-based music company that works with agencies and brands. So, in a fun stunt to launch its quarterly "Wine Club," the company placed bottles near Wolves' speakers as they rocked the day away.

Vino provided by The Prisoner Wine Co. acquired "aromas of dried herbs and black stone fruit" after soaking up the vivacious vibrations, we're told.

SoStereo Wine Club

"With wine, one of the aging factors is the clarification of sediment and how fast it settles over time," SoStereo co-founder Salo Sterental tells Muse. "Certain frequencies can make this faster or slower, thereby changing the flavor."

"The power of music both psychologically and physiologically is monumental," adds co-founder Beto Azout. "And there's so much information about the different ways music can alter the experience of wine—from how it makes you feel while you're actually drinking it, to the physical impact it can have on the taste."

After three or four glasses, who'd quibble? 

"We rented a wine cellar and had the band perform a selection of songs for the better part of a day," Azout explains. "We positioned the wine evenly across the speakers to 'soak up' as much of the vibrations as possible. We chose songs with enough energy and in frequency ranges that we thought would affect the taste, and then recorded some of it for the video."

The activation took place in November, with 100 bottles distributed to select clients.

"Our broader goal is to partner with a winery and have the wine age for weeks at a time" with specific playlists set on a loop, Azout says. "Every quarter, we'll select a new playlist, see how it affects taste, and share the wine with subscribers. Imagine discovering that a Tempranillo goes better with singer-songwriter playlists—and then actually aging it with them. We even see ourselves hiring a sommelier to pair the wines with music. "

We know a "Song Sommelier" who might be available. Though his knowledge of the grape is strictly recreational.

Of late, we've seen tuneful taste transformations of cheese and beer, and an audio project designed to ease acute pain. The indigo plant got its own holistic soundtrack, perfect for skincare promotions.

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