London, May 14 : A room filled with soulful music and a glass of red wine - well this would be the perfect romantic setup, but melody will not just set your mood, it can also affect the way wine tastes, at least that's what the new research suggests.
According to Heriot Watt University researchers in Edinburgh, when a powerful, heavy piece of music is heard, a wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon is perceived as being 60 per cent more powerful, rich and robust than when no music is heard.
Scientists said their research had established for the first time that music influenced taste, and claimed the results could have important implications for restaurateurs.
"It is widely acknowledged within the scientific community that music affects behaviour, however this is the first time it has been scientifically proven that music can affect perception in other senses and change the way wine tastes," the Telegraph quoted Prof Adrian North of Heriot Watt University, as saying.
"The research showed that when a powerful, heavy piece of music is heard, a wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon is perceived as being 60 per cent more powerful, rich and robust than when no music is heard," North added.
The research in the department of applied psychology was based on cognitive priming theory, which suggests that music stimulates specific areas of the brain.
When wine is tasted, these areas of the brain are already active and prime the listener to taste the wine in a corresponding way.
The research was carried out with the Chilean winemaker Aurelio Montes, who also incorporates music in the winemaking process.
He plays monastic chants to maturing wines in the belief that gentle vibrations will improve the quality of the product.
Montes said: "It was a natural extension to link with Heriot Watt, to scientifically determine the impact that music has on how wine tastes."
According to his list of the ideal tracks to accompany wine, a Chardonnay slips down nicely accompanied by Atomic from Blondie, and Merlot is good with Otis Redding singing Sitting on the Dock of the Bay.
Jimie Hendrix's version of All Along the Watchtower is recommended with a 2006 Chilean Cabernet Sauvingnon.
David Williams, editor of Wine and Spirit magazine, said: "I love the idea that music has such an enormous effect on the way we taste wine. Maybe one day there will even be music lists in Michelin starred restaurants."