As part of an experiment, researcher Adrian North from Heriot Watt University asked a test audience to separate several songs into specific categories. The music could be classified as "powerful and heavy," "subtle and refined," "zingy and refreshing," or "mellow and fresh."
In Phase II, North had a second set of 250 audience members drink either a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Chardonnay while listening to the previously classified music. A control group, meanwhile, drank wine without any music playing. Some sipped their drink while listening to Tchaikovsky's "Waltz of the Flowers" (subtle and refined), others savored their wine to Michael Brook's "Slow Breakdown" (mellow and soft). After the taste test, subjects were asked to group the wines into one of the previously mentioned categories.
By the time North was finished, he'd discovered that music has a powerful impact on the way we perceive wine. For example, when people drank red wine whilst listening to Carl Off's booming
"Carmina Burana," 60% of the described their drink as "powerful and heavy." A comparably large percentage of test subjects rated the same wine as "zingy and refreshing" when listening to Nouvelle Vague's "Just Can't Get Enough."
So the next time you visit a restaurant and order a drink, pay close attention to the background music. It might totally change whatever's in your glass.