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BIVB curates Spotify playlist to pair with Chablis

With research showing music can enhance perceived taste and texture of wine, the Bourgogne Wine Board (BIVB) has launched a Spotify playlist for Hong Kong drinkers to pair with wines from Chablis.

The campaign, named “Magic of Chablis and Music”, includes a playlist of 12 easy-listening songs, and launches in time to celebrate International Music Day on 21 June 2022.

Curated with the assistance of Hong Kong wine and music critic Ronny Lau, the tunes are believed to enhance the emotional outpouring that accompanies a Chablis wine experience.

The French region of Chablis is carved into four appellations – Petit Chablis, Chablis, Chablis Premier Cru and Chablis Grand Cru. There are eight musical recommendations in the playlist, two from each appellation, to assure ideal pairings.

“Learning about wine through music is an enjoyable and memorable way of broadening your knowledge and appreciation of wine. Hence, we are excited to release the ‘Magic of Chablis and Music’ Spotify Playlists this summer,” says Paul Espitalié, president of the Chablis Commission of Bourgogne Wine Board.

Wine-and-music pairing master Ronny Lau, who is the chairman of the Hong Kong Wine & Spirits Writers Association has also offered some tips on the pairing.

He recommends drinking lean, delicate wines with mellow music such as folk or acoustic recordings, and keeping the volume low as volume is linked to the perception of flavour intensity.

The minerality and purity of Chablis wines, Lau says, means they are best paired with simple, catchy melodies; their pronounced acidity complemented by songs favouring treble rather than bass.

“If the music playing in the background is perceived as powerful and bold, the wine in the glass will be described in the same way,” says Lau. “When the music is soft and mellow, those qualities will be attributed to the wine.” He cites scientific studies by Oxford University and Edinburgh’s Heriot-Watt University, which concluded that sound can change the perceived taste and texture of wine.

He also reveals how listening to a well-matched song can pinpoint the subtleties of the four Chablis appellations.

For instance, Carla Bruni’s “Little French Song” is perfectly positioned with the fresh, light, mellow wines of Petit Chablis. And for the more complex Chablis Premier Cru, upbeat songs of faster tempo and thicker texture, such as “In a Tree” by Priscilla Ahn, is perfect.


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