Latest Issue

Can music alter the taste of wine?

High pitch has been proven to bring out acidity and low pitch bitterness

By Barry Smith   November 2015


Professional wine tasters like to carry out their task in silence. This isn’t unnecessary fussiness; they know that extraneous noise can prevent them from picking up on the subtle features of a wine and, as the French oenologist Émile Peynaud wrote, that “quiet has always been considered necessary for a taster’s concentration.” Peynaud believed this was because “the sense of hearing can interfere with other senses during tasting,” and research has proved him right. Scientific studies reveal that white noise in the ears at the level 85 decibels—the…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect