Considering Music and the Winery Tasting Room Experience

Posted on: September 20th, 2017 by

Vinyl in Sleight of Hand Tasting RoomDo you find the tasting room experience a bit staid? Full of laminated PDFs and the drone-like reciting of a wine’s purported qualities by robotic employees. Yeah, I’ve been there. (Though, thankfully it’s the exception not the norm.)

One way to bring a little sizzle to the setting? Music. It sets a mood and a tone. Perphas, “This is very solemn and serious and you must demonstrate proper sniffing and swirling protocol.” OR, “Hey, let’s relax and have some fun.” I prefer the latter. (Duh.)

So who better to discuss the matter than Trey Busch, co-owner and winemaker at Walla Walla’s Sleight of Hand Cellars?


Well, first of all the winery is named after a Pearl Jam song. (Busch may be the world’s foremost fan of the band and I’m not joking.) Second, when you visit the SofH tasting room (either in Walla Walla or Seattle’s SoDo neighborhood), you’re gonna see a lot of vinyl. As in records.

#sleeveface is alive and well at @sofhcellars! #eltonjohn @sleevefacer

A post shared by Sleight of Hand Cellars (@sofhcellars) on

On the Wine Enthusiast podcast, I talk with Busch about the role music plays in the tasting room and, well, his life. Everything from 80’s German heavy metal to Sade is discussed. Ok, and we do talk some wine, particularly about rosé in Washington state and how Cabernet Franc is a star grape for pink juice. Have a listen:

How Music Makes the Tasting Room Experience Memorable

Photo of records via the website for Sleight of Hand Cellars.

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