Music was my first love; philosophy my second. After 12 years in the music industry as a rock drummer, also dabbling in songwriting and production work, I returned to philosophy, which I have taught at colleges and universities for over thirty years. Along the way, I discovered that wine is a charming and soulful companion while pondering truth, justice, and beauty and a fitting subject for philosophical inquiry as well. The result is my book on the philosophy of wine: Beauty and the Yeast: A Philosophy of Wine, Life, and Love, which was deeply informed by Clark Smith, Rick Jones, and the other participants in their annual Postmodern Winemaking Symposium.
I avidly consumed the initial research on wine and music pairing as it emerged in the first decade of this century and began to offer pairings in my online wine reviews, which can be found at the blog Edible Arts. Clark’s instructive seminars on the topic reinforced my belief that there is much enjoyment to be found in finding the right music to enhance the experience of wine.
This book brings together the interests of a lifetime in a holistic aesthetic experience. Like other arts and music, wine is an expressive medium deeply connected to our emotions. Most professional wine tasting methods ignore this dimension. At Pairing Wine and Music.com we bring out this dimension of wine by showing how wine and music complement each other.
I blog regularly about wine and food aesthetics at Edible Arts.
Winemaker for my own WineSmith brand and consultant for hundreds of winery clients, I have made wine for 60 vintages (including 14 in the Southern Hemisphere). I have always tried to hold my wines to the standard Ben Franklin set—”Wine is proof that God loves us and desires us to be happy.” My musical background stretches back to the 1960s and encompasses a lifetime on stage in musical stage productions, choral singing, and singer/songwriter performances as well as a barbershop quartet baritone. My CD, “If I Could Be the Wine” is currently in production.
My revolutionary book, Postmodern Winemaking, turned the industry on its head and was named Wine & Spirits Magazine’s 2013 Book of the Year. I was named Innovator of The Year at the I+Q Conference in 2016 and listed among the 48 Most Influential People in the Wine Industry by Wine Business Monthly in 2018.
After the publication of Postmodern Winemaking, Rick Jones and I put together an annual conference called Postmodern Winemaking Symposium as a two-day roundtable discussion among 100 winemakers. The morning of the second day was devoted to a discussion of what is it about wine that compelled us to throw our lives into this challenging and financially unrewarding business.
Rick thought we needed somebody on the faculty with serious philosophical and aesthetic chops, so in 2016, we welcomed Dwight Furrow onto our team. This led to publication of his wonderful book Beauty and the Yeast, A Philosophy of Wine, Life and Love.
Dwight had independently been using music in his wine reviews to give a sense of the wine’s nature. Iron sharpens iron, and our collaboration on this project distills together my work as a winemaker and his as an aesthetics philosopher.
Learn more about my activities by visiting WhoIsClarkSmith.com.