Music to My Glass with Clark Smith presented by Grinnell Mutual

  • April 18
  • 6:00 pm
  • 80

‘Chime’ into the words of winemaker Clark Smith as he discusses how different music can affect our perception of how wine tastes. This powerful (and fun) event will explore how we can truly make the most out of every bottle by the sounds we surround ourselves with. Join us on Thursday, April 18th at the Hilton Downtown for this one of a kind event.

Heavy appetizers and wine will be in the Park Street Kitchen before the seminar with a dessert following.

This is an event that neither your taste buds nor your ears will want to miss!


Clark’s reflections from his Wine and Music workshops:

It seems that when the wine and the music have the same intrinsic mood, they complement each other. In particular, wines taste smoother, whereas when it’s a mismatch, they can taste harsh and astringent. My reading of music cognition work indicates that the thalamus in the midbrain makes decisions as to the nature of a stimulus, and sends harmonies to the sympathetic nervous system (calming) and the frontal lobes (pleasure system) whereas noise is sent to the parasympathetic system (alert status) and the limbic system (fight or flight). Identifying something as harmonious, for example a major chord, makes us ignore the noisiness of the instruments. The same orchestra tuning up is an annoying cacophony, but then they start playing together and it’s pleasurable. I think wines participate in this, like another instrument in the orchestra, and they need to be playing in good sync with the other instruments, or the result is unpleasant because we sense the harshness that the wine really has which we overlook when the elements are working in harmony.

What goes with what? You can make pretty good guesses about what will work by learning to be as sensitive to the mood of a wine as to the mood of a piece. Anybody can tell happy music from sad from angry from romantic from lustful. Wines are the same. Cabernets are angry, Pinots romantic, Rieslings cheerful. After that, it’s trial and error. Pay particular attention to astringency: the smoothness or harshness a wine displays when tasted in a specific musical environment. You don’t need more than a few seconds to sense the effect.