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Synaesthesia, cognitive priming, and the Way of the World

You may have read in the press (here's a BBC link) about a recent study into how 'music sets up the brain to respond to... wine in a certain way' that suggested

people rated the change in taste [of a glass of wine] by up to 60% depending on the melody heard

I read that, and then had a reminder from another local wine merchant about it, and filed it away as an excuse to go on again in some future post about how the external and peripheral features of wine, from its packaging to the temperature in the shop, to what sort of mood customer and seller are in, certainly influence the purchaser's decision at least as much as the juice itself.

And then, the purchaser's reaction to what's been bought will vary at the moments of consumption, for a whole web of reasons not to do with what his taste buds are telling him.

It would be easy to go on and on about this in a fascinating-but-dull way similar to when people start talking about Language.  Our appreciation of wine is incorrigibly plural, that's about the size of it. But I was moved to put this post up because of the current run of billboard advertisements for Lavazza coffee. I was struck by them.

I don't take the planet-depleting black gold as seriously as some people by any means, but have been fairly faithful to the old Qualita Rossa in its silver, red and black shrink-packs.  The association with turquoise, umber and the epicene creature in the florist's I reproduce here - until they ask me to take it down -

Lavazza
was a delicious shock to the system. If you head over to the Lavazza website, which is big and sprawling anyway, you'll find the whole camp-aign is completely over the top, "dedicated to women who feel like queens" with loungecore music and plummyish voiceover and and... But it's so trop it's good. And it has changed the way I think about the brand of coffee I usually buy. In fact, it has more or less started me thinking about it at all.

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