Wine and Music

I recently read the book, The Power of Music by Elena Mannes.  In this fascinating book, the author goes into great detail about how we experience music physically.  For example, different frequencies vibrate different bones throughout our bodies.  Of course it is in our brains where the bulk of the physical effects of music take place.  Different elements of music activate different areas of the brain.  We experience tempo on the parietal and frontal lobes, meter activates the basal ganglia, melody lights up the parahippocampal and cerebellar cortices.  And of course, we can’t hear the music without using the auditory cortex.  The act of listening to music creates its own symphony of activity in the brain.  No single element is more important than the other.  All must work in concert in order for our brains to experience the music.

Cupcake Red Velvet, 2009

Cupcake has come out with an unusual blend of big flavor reds.  In Red Velvet they have blended Zinfandel with Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah.  No supporting characters here, each of these famous grapes can stand alone.  Together they make a powerful, yet surprisingly smooth wine.  Red Velvet is lush, earthy, and tannic with just a hit of good acidity.  It has nice red fruit and subtle spice flavors that mix well with the wine’s structure.  It’s a lovely sipping wine that holds up well with meaty Italian dishes.

Sometimes, with both wine and music, so many elements are put forth, that the thing as a whole becomes loud and confusing.  But sometimes all the elements come together beautifully and seamlessly.  While my brain or palate may be intensely stimulated by the plethera of elements, the end result is pure delight.

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