Taste & Sound—Celebrate Food and Music During Classical Music Month

Ambience makes a world of difference when it comes to your food. Some foodies, for instance, insist that flavors are more vivid outdoors. So in the warmer months taste enthusiasts pack the sidewalk for the perfect bite, accented with a summer breeze.

But the food scene is taking a more autumnal approach as the weather cools. Rather than chase intense flavors outdoors, foodies turn their attention to the indoor dining atmosphere. Take music. Your sense of smell affects the way your food tastes—and some gourmands believe that sound does too.

Yes, duck and pinot noir are perfect for one another. But if you’re going to all the trouble of pairing your meat with your wine, put some thought into your ear buds as well as your taste buds.

Scientifically speaking, noise levels change food’s taste more than music. Studies show that as noise increases your taste perception of salty and sweet decreases. But in the restaurant scene music carries more weight because it relates to experience. Like a sheepskin rug beneath your toes, music just feels good. Add the complex musical notes to your complex wines and you’re in for a unique dining experience.

September is classical music month, so this is the perfect time to enrich your dining experience with music.

Pay Close Attention
You may not have noticed before, but savvy restaurant owners select their music carefully. They base their choices on how they want your dining experience to feel, and even progress. Fast-paced music will keep you moving at grab-and-go locations. Slower tunes invite you to linger. Listen carefully for background music the next time you eat out. How does it influence your perception of the meal and your surroundings? Discussing the music will make for an interesting conversation with your dinner date.

Taste (And Hear) Mindfully
Nutritionists suggest mindful eating to lose weight. Paying close attention to your food—including taste, texture and temperature—helps you feel satisfied. Apply the same principle to sound while you eat. Tune into the tone and tempo that serves as the soundtrack to your meal.

If you’re really feeling adventurous, venture out for a sound and taste extravaganza. Bring your iPod to the table to test the effect of your playlist on plate. Does French music make your Syrah even more aggressive? Are the jalapenos hotter with the guitar of a Mariachi band in the background? Experiment and have fun with the interplay between your food and your music.

We never tire of trying new foods. But trying new music while you enjoy your favorite dishes may make them taste new again.