Do a quick Google search on “Books on Music and Wine” and, trust me, you’ll find pretty much zip, zilch, nothing. Searching this term will yield a good amount of books on wine tasting itself, no problem, but that’s really where it ends. A slightly more open-ended search, such as “music and wine” will open up a few more options.
The prevailing philosophy about pairing wine and music – if any such philosophy is discussed – is that a particular grape has a particular musical genre that is its muse. I don’t disagree that this is true in some instances. However, I would question the notion that a Syrah from California’s Central Coast, one from the Rhône Valley, another from Washington State, and a fourth from Australia could be musically identified by the same genre. I’m guessing the winemakers would also have a fairly strong feeling about this as well!
To compare, would we consider putting Duke Ellington, Diana Krall, Norah Jones, and Count Basie in the same category as one another? To be sure, if you google “Top Jazz Singers,” all of those artists mentioned above do come up. However, I think it’s highly unlikely we would ever think of them as playing or singing the same music as one another.
Such is the wonder and beauty and mystery of pairing music and wine. Certain wines may lend themselves in concept, context, flavor profile, and storyline to one genre over the other, and some songs may seem to pair more naturally with a light-bodied over a full-bodied red but the perfect harmony is in the details, the particulars. And that’s where we spend our time.
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