Assessing the influence of music on wine perception among wine professionals.
Wang QJ., Spence C.
Several recent studies have demonstrated that music can significantly influence the eating/drinking experience. It is not clear, however, whether this influence would be moderated by the expertise of the taster. In the experiments reported here, we tested a large group (N = 154) of very experienced wine tasters-the majority of whom were professionals working in the wine business-at a winemaking conference. The first study assessed the impact of putatively "sweet" and "sour" soundtracks on taste evaluation, whereas the second study assessed more subtle wine-specific terminology such as length, balance, and body. The results revealed that the effect of music on wine perception can indeed be demonstrated in wine experts. Moreover, the amount of wine tasting experience, as measured in years, did not moderate the influence of music on sensory and hedonic wine evaluation. This result suggests that the aforementioned auditory modulation of drinking experience is not influenced by the increased analytical abilities afforded by traditional wine tasting expertise.