Head sommelier at Launceston Place, Mickey Narea, says it’s time to go beyond pairing wine with food alone, and explore the way it can be matched with music.
Speaking at the Restaurant Show today, Narea said that music presents a new way to talk about wine, which could to make it easier for people to relate to it.
“We started by matching colours: red wine with red meat, white wine with fish… then the opposite. But that’s still just two elements – wine plus food equals pleasure.”
“My theory is that you take all atmospheric elements and create a synergy. So that means you look at the atmosphere, the mood of the place and the table, the occasion and individual tastes. Then you have an infinite number of wines to match, because these things are always changing.”
Music, he says, is an atmospheric element that speaks to us with emotion and heart.
“If we could find a way to match those emotions through music, we can find a new way to talk about wine, a way that could be less intimidating to some people.”
Jack Johnson is Rioja
Narea presented his audience with four different wines, then blasted music across the auditorium to demonstrate his point.
The first wine was a South African Sauvignon Blanc, sampled to the sound of The Killers.
“This is energy and passion. As the music creeps up on you so does the acidity of the wine, it’s lively, it has zip, it picks you up. The wine makes you tap your toes and feel the music,” he said with a jig.
The second wine on the cards was a 2003 Rioja Reserva, paired with Jack Johnson.
“It’s soulful, smooth, rustic. It’s a sexy voice that just takes you away. Rioja is Jack Johnson.”
The third wine to be sampled was a 2007 Syrah Croze Hermitage, matched with Jimmy Hendrix for “elegance and power … it’s edgy but restrained”.
Finally, Narea matched a Mendel Malbec from Argentina with The Stones’ Satisfaction. “This is big and bold, it’s aggressive and rich. That’s a wine with power, a wine that’s going to stay in your teeth till tomorrow.”
“Just think how music and food and wine and you can come together and move beyond food and wine for a little satisfaction,” he told his audience.