Wine & Music: Pairing Beyond the Plate

What if we told you music could make your wine taste better? It turns out you can pair wine with more than just a fancy plate of cheese and crackers. Wine not only enhances the food you are eating, but also the music you are listening to.

Winemaker Clark Smith says, “It seems that wine and music have the same intrinsic mood.” He believes wine acts as another instrument in the orchestra, and therefore, needs to be played in sync with the other instruments. Whether you want to listen to amplify your experience with rock or slow it down with some soft jazz, we will find the perfect wine for you. Get ready to become a world class musician with these wine pairing tips.


Cabernet Sauvignon

The deep color of this wine coincides with its rich and savory tastes. From deep plum flavors to notes of cherry, cabernet is sometimes referred to as the most “serious” of wines. When drinking a dark cab, we recommend pairing it with the music of classical maestros Mozart, Bach, or Beethoven.

Cabernet is also considered one of the most popular wines in America, and if serious classical isn’t your favorite, we recommend a night in listening to the raspy voice of Stevie Nicks or Bruce Springsteen, two artists who are classics in their own way.


Compared to cabernet sauvignon, merlot has less tannin, making the wine taste less bitter. Merlot fans tend to be less “serious” about their wine choices, and so the music pairing should reflect that. When sipping on a nice merlot, our music of choice would be mellow rock. Air Supply and Simon & Garfunkel are good for easy listening and can put you in a relaxed mood. So, pour a glass (or three) and kick back to some of your favorites.

Pinot Noir

Pinot noir is produced from red grapes but has a much lighter color than most red wines. This wine is known for its classic berry flavors with hints of black cherry. There are also floral notes in this wine giving it a silkier feel in the mouth. To match the fluid finish of this wine, we like to pair it with smooth jazz.

The seamless instrumental music of artists like Rick Braun, Peter White and Mindi Abair are just a few of our favorites when sipping on pinot. Just like jazz, this wine choice dances on your tongue to the music you’re playing. The cherry and chocolate undertones linger after each sip, making you feel every instrumental moment in the song. Picture this: a glass of pinot, a fireplace, and the tunes of Miles Davis playing softly in the background.


Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon blanc is known for having more of a “grassy” taste with hints of lime, green apple, and white peach. It is full of rich and complex flavors that can range from lime to a more floral taste. To match this earthy flavor, it only makes sense to pair this wine with bluegrass music. Sauvignon blanc always takes us back to the countryside, making us think of carefree, open fields. Pair this wine favorite with Alison Krauss, Bill Monroe, or Jimmy Martin and let the music (and the wine) take you back.


Chardonnay is a fan favorite. It takes the citrusy flavor of a sauvignon blanc and adds a velvety butter undertone. The rich and deep taste of the apple, melon, and peach flavors flow perfectly with the creamy taste of honey, butter and hazelnut extracts.

While this wine is good paired with just about anything, we recommend soft rock. Artists like The Carpenters or The Beach Boys sound even better with a cold glass of chardonnay. We guarantee that the sounds of “California Girls” paired with a chardonnay will put even the soberest of crowds in an upbeat mood.

Pinot Grigio

Not to be confused with pinot noir, pinot grigio is a white wine that has mild citrus flavors. It has a light, crisp taste with hints of honey that give it a darker color than other white wines. To match this bright flavor, we recommend pairing it with a summer soundtrack made up of your favorite artists over the decades. Wine and music are great on their own, but paired together, you have one unbeatable combination.