Mysteries of Music and Wine

Have you ever wondered why you can hear the same piece of music several times yet it sounds so different every time? This is particularly true with live music, although it happens with recordings too. Last night at flamenco dance class, our guitarist was playing the same pieces he usually plays. For some reason though, they sounded so much more beautiful than ever before. The music almost moved me to tears it was so lovely. Same guitar, same player, same music, same room, same ears…so different.

I guess it speaks to the truth that the emotions/current state of mind of both performer and listener play a huge role in this wondrous mix. And when you think about it, what an amazing thing that is. Obviously we give and receive music on so many different levels and when all the stars line up on all those levels it can be a truely memorable experience.

In this way it’s much like wine. You can have the same vineyard making wine from the same type of grapes using the same methods every year, but yet the vintage can make for totally different drinking experiences. Such mysteries!

By the way, I have decided it’s time I learned a bit about wine. I have gotten by in life with letting someone else choose the wine, since I hardly know the difference between a chardonnay and a shiraz. However I would like to have the confidence of knowing I can make a decent pick when I walk into a liquor store or restaurant, so I have been reading about wines lately. I’m learning all kinds of things, like how different wines can pick up such exotic aromas and flavors as dark chocolate, black cherry, and pencil lead! I now know what wines go with caribou or sushi, and the names of some of the consistently good wineries. All this learning is proving to be a fun task, since it requires lots of taste testing!

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