Sounds, Smells, Tastes and Wines

A local musician’s ‘Vinisthesia’ brings wine and music into a sensory experience

Forest Mountain Lion. Courtesy photo.

All wine drinkers know — it isn’t just about the taste, the smell or that buzz — it’s about the experience. The friends we share a bottle with. The memories we make. 

And of course, every good memory needs a soundtrack. 

A pairing of wine and sound — Vinisthesia, a portmanteau of vini (the Italian plural for wine) and synesthesia (experiencing involuntary sensory information in more than one sense) — is an experience coming to three locally owned wineries.

“I’m capturing the emotion of the wine,” local artist Forest Mountain Lion says. “It’s a process where I have to get my thoughts out of the way and instead embody the emotion of the wine.”

Essentially, you sip the wine at home and press play on Mountain Lion’s website or as the artist recommends, venture to a wine bar for the full experience. 

Iris Vineyards, Sarver Winery and McBeth Vineyards all offer several of their own varietals — each uniquely paired with their own cascade of piano notes — composed by Mountain Lion.

Mountain Lion notes that it’s also important to remember that every wine is unique, and thus each deserves its own sound signature.

Every Vinisthesia experience is different glass to glass and person to person.

Just like a good bottle of wine with a well-balanced flavor profile, Mountain Lion says each soundscape needs to strike that balance. “The exact same thing is true in music in terms of consonance and dissonance and rhythm and melody,” Mountain Lion says. “You can’t just have everything all at once. You need a balance of sweet and tart in music as well.”

Excited to bring this to local wineries, Mountain Lion wants more businesses to reach out to him to expand every wine drinker’s horizon. 

A well-paired sound signature with a sip of wine will not just be an awakening experience — it will liberate the flavors and undertones already present in that good glass of vino.

The tastes and sounds of Vinisthesia can be experienced fully at Iris Vineyard’s wine bar at 322 Main St., Springfield, Sarver Winery at 25600 Mayola Lane, Eugene, and McBeth Vineyard at 85162 McBeth Road, Eugene. Or listen online at