Wine has been a real mystery to me over the years. I love drinking it, and I love learning more about it at wine dinners and such, but articulating what I’m tasting when I’m tasting it is tough. I can never seem to place the flavors.

It’s that tip-of-the-tongue state: you know you recognize it, but you can’t grasp the information in your brain at that particular moment, especially when it’s something like apricot.

So, I’ve taken to drinking wine with Jeff Allen (a guy I spent a chunk of change sending to a master wine class a couple years back) and quizzing him on what it is I’m tasting. When he’s all like, yeah, wet rocks, or it’s got a grassy taste, or it smells like a barnyard — I can suddenly taste and smell what the hell he’s talking about. Left to my own devices, I just can’t wrap my brain around my tongue, or maybe it’s the other way around.

To get to my point here, a group of musicians at the College of Charleston — dubbed the Tempranillo Ensemble — will be tasting wines, talking about them, and then playing  music about them during an “interactive string quartet/wine tasting.”

From the press release:

“Each of the three movements will represent a different wine, and will be preceded by an ‘on-stage’ wine tasting by the four members of the performing ensemble. During these three mini-tastings, the musicians will be free to reflect (to the audience and each other) upon the taste of the wine and the type of wine in general. This will be a non-scripted dialogue.”

They’ll be playing a piece by local professor and composer Edward Hart entitled Amori Vini. Sounds interesting, but what I really want to know is, will the audience get to drink the wine too, ’cause I’d probably need a couple glasses if I was gonna sit still through a chamber music performance (not that I don’t love and support the arts, if you know what I mean).

If you’re interested in attending this first-of-its-kind performance in Charleston, it will be held March 9 at 8 p.m. in the Recital Hall of the Simons Center for the Arts, 54 St. Philip St.


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