Eric Legnini, Belgian jazz pianist — Words from the Passionnate

During the 2015 Saint-Emilion Jazz Festival, the Belgian artist has tried the Musical Wine Tasting. The principle? Eight Saint-Emilion Grands Crus Classés to be interpreted musically. Verdict of the audience: a magical moment.

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“For wine lovers, it’s always incredible being inducted into the Jurade. And, I myself have a little story. My father is a wine fan. It’s true we’ve often come to Saint-Emilion. Were were on holidays, we came to taste wines in the châteaux. So yes, I was moved. Just like music… you have to be educated. You have to be lucky enough to meet people who know a lot about wine, as for the music industry. Sometimes, it is so vast, you don’t quite know what to listen to, or what to drink. It’s nice knowing the right people who help you listen to the right records or who help you discover the right bottles. I think that the world of wine is very close to the world of music, and of Jazz in particular. The blending could be compared to some different styles in music. I feel that it is the strength of the wine expert that assembles and builds the character of the wine. He knows the grape varieties well. He knows the soil well. He anticipates. Sometimes, it’s a gamble. Sometimes, they imagine tastes. And also, I think they have hindsight to guess what the wine will become in 5, 10, 15, 20 years for the Grands Crus as they are keeping wines. I find there are similarities in the attitude, in the choices they can sometimes make, with jazz or music in general. I tend to, for soft, rounder wines, To have more delicate approach. And fresher wines, less charged than others, with something more verbose… For me, it was quite important, I felt that those wines had, in all humility, that impression of rigor, of terroir, truly from here, from the historical Saint-Emilion I would say. It is true that those wines, I assimilated them, in a way to the history of jazz and to play classics. I try to choose from my repertoire, which is original music. So there’s a more folk, more pop character, sometimes with a little soul taste in those compositions. The universe of each piece seemed to me… I had a feeling that it could work with the wines we were tasting.”

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