Music to My Ears

Soundtracks a matter of personal taste

By Hilary Berg, OWP Editor

One glance at the July cover and you know what OWP has on its mind: music and wine. But what does one have to do with the other?

More than you’d think.

For instance, this wine editor can’t work without music playing through her well-worn headphones.

For those who work in the winery, music can be just as essential and flows like the wine they are producing. A cellar’s acoustics amplifies sound even more — boosting other noises as well, including the regular discussions on what to listen to and who’s turn it is to choose.

Just like any job, winery workers have to get along, including approving — or tolerating — their peers’ musical tastes. When I worked at a sub shop during college, employees took turns choosing the soundtrack playing as we spread mayonnaise and sliced tomatoes — I remember some CDs that made me want to hurl Dagwoods at the interim DJ.

Fast-forward many years to my own tasting room, and the scenario, at times, reminds me of the good ol’ days — minus the pickles.

My husband, Chris, who is six years older than me, likes to reminisce over his glory years, when mullets — he had one — and stone-washed jeans were considered cool. Lately, he is on a Christopher Cross kick, which makes me want to “sail” out the door.

As for my tastes, you’d think I was 40 years older with my obsession with Edith Piaf and Billie Holiday — Chris cannot stand Lady Day.

Personally, I think old-time French and classic jazz music is more appropriate for wine tasting. But ... who am I to say? Just like wine, everyone has their own musical tastes.

What a glorious experience when a customer, enjoying our wine, comments on the music and a not-so-tangential discussion blossoms. I truly appreciate these colorful interactions.

I do enjoy talking about our wines with customers, but, honestly, if you would rather chat about the music playing, I’d gladly participate.

If Mr. Cross is coming out of the speakers, you’ll have to excuse me while I “ride like the wind” over to the used corks to gather my ammo — trust me, it is kinder than a foil-wrapped sandwich.





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