Headlines

Palmer & you

concert privé piano

JACKY TERRASSON

Jazz pianist
New York, USA
Wine transports him, much like cuisine and, without question, music. On the terrace of a Parisian café, Jacky Terrasson muses on the power of his passions, glass in hand...

What place does wine have in your life?

It is a long-term passion. You could call it my permanent thirst for discovery and new encounters. It’s about learning, which feeds desire. So I’ll visit an estate on the way to a concert I might be giving near Bordeaux, in Côtes du Rhône or Alsace. Or I’ll do a blind tasting with winemaker friends. Or I’ll just take advantage of a lovely natural-wine list, in a restaurant in Paris, New York or elsewhere.
 

Jacky Terrasson pianiste jazz

How did wine enter your life?

The first person to teach me about the pleasure of wine was my grandfather. I was 15. We would have a family meal at least once a month, and he would always bring six bottles and keep two back for me. It was the perfect way to awaken my curiosity, particularly for reds and Bordeaux. For whites and other regions, friends took over, as they did for my interest in food. I love studying recipes, buying ingredients, putting it all together, and finally, tasting my “creation”, accompanied, obviously, by a glass of wine.

 

Do you think there is a link between wine, cooking and music?

I’m absolutely convinced of it. All three share the same approach, the same savoir-faire: you search, grope around, and then, using delicate elements, you develop and build, all in the hope of obtaining an acceptable result. In 2010, during my first visit to Château Palmer, I was struck by how much work goes into creating a vintage, all the variables that you have to take into account. Thomas Duroux is like an orchestra conductor, one who composes with a terroir rich in gravelly soil, varieties and plots. Not to mention the blending in the cellar. I do the same thing, with different ingredients that are just as alive: melody, harmony, rhythm and structure.
 

piano main

" Thomas Duroux is like an orchestra conductor, one who composes with a terroir rich in gravelly soil, varieties and plots. Not to mention the blending in the cellar. I do the same thing, with different ingredients that are just as alive: melody, harmony, rhythm and structure. "

Jacky Terrasson, Jazz pianist, New York, USA

Jacky Terrasson pianiste jazz

Do you compose with a glass in hand?

Sometimes, yes. Not always. It depends on circumstances.
Tasting, like composing, requires maximum concentration. When I tasted my first glasses of Palmer in 2010, I don’t think they were accompanied by music. It was a vertical tasting of the vintages from 1959, 1969, 1979, 1989, 1999 and 2009. Thinking back on it, what tension, what subtlety! Particularly for the first one, which had spent a half-century in the cellar. No, sometimes it’s better to drink in silence – or listen to the empty glass.