IT`S WELL known that playing music in restaurants can affect the way diners behave in restaurants, with classical music notably encouraging people to spend more money. Now, a study has suggested certain sounds can also enhance the way wine tastes.
The research was carried out for Chilean winemaker Aurelio Montes, who plays monastic chants to his maturing wines, by the Heriot Watt University.
Variances in ratings as high as 60 per cent resulted from different melodies played with the same wines.
‘Zingy and refreshing’ sounding music led to white wines tasting up to 40 per cent more zingy and refreshing, cabernet sauvignon was most affected by ‘powerful and heavy’ sounding songs.
The results from the study led to Montes wines recommending pairing up cabernet sauvignon with (amongst others) Honky Tonk Woman by the Rolling Stones, chardonnay goes with a bit of Blondie, and merlot a more relaxed Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay by Otis Redding.
The results were put down to "cognitive priming theory", where the music sets up the brain to respond to the wine in a certain way.
As well as the taste music can influence choice, the university’s Professor North suggested people were twice as likely to buy German than French if an oompah band is played.
Heston Blumenthal is one chef already famously exploring the concept at his restaurant The Fat Duck with a ‘sounds of the sea’ ipod accompanied oyster, "We ate an oyster while listening to the sea and it tasted stronger and saltier", he explained.
We like a little oddity and experimentation here at BigH so have a go with your customers, and weird and wonderful combinations you fancy, and let us know the results!