If you think very much at all about the wine you drink, you no doubt make a lot of comparisons in your senses. “Has a greenish hue” or “smells like violets” or “tastes like wet rocks” probably come to mind occasionally. I love music, and I started thinking about what musical instruments I would match with the wines I taste.
A light and berry-flavored rosé might be well suited to the dancing notes of the piccolo. Champagne – and all the other sparklers – would have to be a glissando on the harp.
The full, rich notes of the cello is a natural for a creamy, buttery Chardonnay, while its stainless steel brethren says “violin” to me.
Sauvignon Blanc seems like a clarinet, the way Pete Fountain played it. I like the oboe for a rich and complex Pinot Noir, while Torrontes tastes like a flute to me – preferably the one heard in “The Girl From Ipanema.”
The trumpet would be a perfect match for a big, brassy Zinfandel. The refined French horn could represent a smokey and lush Merlot.
Big, bold sounds would have to signify big, bold Cabernet Sauvignon, so I’d match Cabs with the tympani and the bassoon together. Port strikes me as a tuba kind of wine, while the many facets of Rhone blends would glide easily from one to another on the slide of a trombone.
The next time you’re tasting a wine you like, think about what sounds the wine conjures up, and make your own kind of music. Please feel free to comment here with any discoveries or revelations that surface. Now, I think I’ll open a nice Sonoma County trumpet.