What music do wine professionals listen to?

What started as an innocent tweet has got somewhat out of hand.

Matt Walls asked Matthew Hemming (no, we’re not related) for his three desert island tracks. Alex Hunt then gave his, I gave mine and before long I had put together a Spotify playlist comprising nearly five hours of music over 45 tracks from 15 contributors, all of them in the wine trade.

The entirely arbitrary rules were that you had to specify three (no more, no less) specific tracks that you would listen to on a desert island. To describe the selection as eclectic is something of an understatement. But what particularly interests me is the lack of well-known tracks.

Radiohead feature four times, but each time with relatively obscure album tracks rather than the biggest hits. Granted, there are some other well-known songs - Life on Mars by Bowie, Express Yourself by NWA, Unfinished Sympathy by Massive Attack - but there are far more lesser-known artists, many of whom are new to me.

As a random way to discover new music, it’s a good an option as any, plus it has the added interest of representing some of the favourite tracks from the following wine luminaries, all of them clearly very music-savvy:

Neal Martin, Alex Hunt, Bob Davidson, Matt Walls, Matthew Hemming, Richard Hemming, Justin Howard-Sneyd, Paul Tudor, Fintan Kerr, Robert Joseph, Gearoid Devaney, Kelli White, Jason Haynes, Ray O’Connor and Geoffrey Moss.

It’s a particularly intriguing thought that this playlist represents some of the most precious music for these people.

Is there a comparison to be made with wine? Oh, probably. Something about how personal association isn’t necessarily related to mainstream popularity, or best-selling products are rarely the most meaningful on an individual level. Whatever.

But really, this is just about appreciating music. So the next time you’re stranded on a desert island (presuming there’s wifi available), or whenever you just have a bit of time to discover some new tunes, give this playlist a go.

Richard HemmingComment