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Playing music to fermenting grapes
4:25pm Monday 7th March 2011 in Leisure
Brahms and Liszt were the first composers that sprang to mind, when I heard some wine news from Vienna this week.
Apparently, an Austrian inventor, Markus Bachmann, has designed a special speaker that plays classical music to fermenting grape juice. The sound waves, he claims, positively influence the maturation process and make for a tastier wine.
Bachmann is reportedly working with a group of Austrian winemakers to produce what are being dubbed as Sonor Wines. But his idea has been dismissed as “rubbish”, by physicist Werner Gruber, based at the University of Vienna.
“Yeast fungi, don’t have opinions,” Gruber states. “They really don’t care if AC/DC, Madonna or Mozart is played to them.”
I think the idea of Sonor Wines is a bit batty too, however it’s not the first time I’ve come across music being played in a winery.
When I met Portuguese winemaker Dirk Niepoort a few years ago, at one of his Quintas in the Douro Valley, a Rolling Stones CD was playing in the cellar.
Although I suspect this was more for the benefit of the workers than the grapes.
Meanwhile, this week’s trio of recommendations may, or may not, have been played music during fermentation.
I wouldn’t be happy paying full price for Piccini Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Riserva 2007, but on a buy-two-for-£10 offer, as it is now at Sainsbury’s, it’s good value. Nice with lasagne or a meat-topped pizza, it is a smooth mouthful of cherry, strawberry, vanilla and soft tannins.
If you are eating steak, then my advice is to drink Argentine malbec. New to the shelves and also on offer at Sainsbury’s until March 22 is Vinalba Patagonia Malbec Reserva 2009. Bold and structured, it oozes spiced plum, brambles and dark chocolate.
Or trade up to its bigger brother, Vinalba Malbec Gran Reserva 2008, which is new at Majestic. This is concentrated stuff, big and spicy, with mouth-filling tannins and layers of blackberry, chocolate, violet and clove.
My top-five songs to play to fermenting grapes: 1. Rieslings To be Cheerful (Part 3) – Ian Dury and The Blockheads 2. Blue Nunday – New Order 3. Instant Cava – John Lennon 4. Carignan – The Hollies 5. Get Off My Cloudy Bay – The Rolling Stones • Piccini Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Riserva 2007, 2 bottles for £10 at Sainsbury’s 15/20 • Vinalba Patagonia Malbec Reserva 2009, £8.24 down from £10.99 at Sainsbury’s 17/20 • Vinalba Malbec Gran Reserva 2008, £13.99 at Majestic 18/20