Are there tangible links between esoteric sensory perceptions?    Everyone likes music, but most people would struggle to define what exactly attracts them to the sound of a song, artist or genre.  Similarly, while wine is enjoyed by many, few aim to put the experience of tasting it into words.

Founded by opera composer and wine expert Theo Popov, Vine Opera aims to study the interactions between the auditory and often visual experience we get from a musical performance and the tactile, olfactory, and gustatory sensations brought out by a glass of wine.  We aim to use the results from these experiments to design better, more comprehensive experiences for all five senses.
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It may seem intuitive to bring a refreshing pinot grigio to a beach concert, and to serve a full-bodied red wine at a dinner before an opera.  But this logic can be just as limited as "drink white wine with fish, red with meat."

Is a Wagner opera paired better with an intense red Bordeaux or with something of a closer cultural origin, like a Kabinett Riesling?  Does a Chopin Nocturne sound better with a glass of Chablis or Beaujolais?  And what wine is the musical equivalent of Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring"?

These are questions we explore through curated music-and-wine tastings with musicians, wine experts, and the general public.

There are several principles in food-and-wine pairings often cited by chefs and sommeliers:

  • Match the intensity. Lemon chicken can be enjoyed with a glass of light Beaujolais, while a steak dinner is best with a hearty Malbec.
  • What grows together, goes together. Sancerre and goat cheese is a classic pairing, and so is Barolo and truffles.
  • Opposites attract. Rich Burrata cheese is surprisingly delicious with a tart Hefeweizen, while pungent Stilton is delightful with sweet Port.

Just like food and wine, music can be described as having various intensities (you listen to a wedding band much differently from symphony), is often grounded in its place of origin, and provokes strong emotional responses in those who experience it.  So could there be universal principles for music and wine pairing as well?

This is what Vine Opera aims to discover.  We'd love for you to be a part of our journey!