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String and Sip: The Finer Things in Life

07.02.10
Cho-Liang Lin
Epicurean Musician

Cho-Liang Lin is a man well-versed in the finer things life has to offer like music, wine, and Texas.  As a world-renowned, Texas based violinist, he has had the opportunity to travel the world and experience regions intimately dedicated to the pleasures of exquisite music and vino.  Born in Taiwan, the violinist is revered for the eloquence of his playing and for the superb musicianship that marks his performances.  Playing in the role of a journalist, he puts his travel experiences to use in his wine column for a Taiwanese magazine.  For Lin, the arts of music and wine are intricately laced into a vision of beauty.  One afternoon Lin chatted with EM about his musical journey and the cuisine and wine he’s experienced along the way.

First Pluck
“I think there was some sort of innate passion for music when I was very little.  My parents thought I showed a lot of interest and passion; interest is one thing but then to actually execute well the violin is another so that part took a lot of training and hard work and very adventurous travels.  I went from Taiwan to Sydney when I was twelve in order to further my musical studies and at age fifteen I traveled by myself to study at Juilliard in New York.  These were very important milestones in my early years.”

Wine and the perks of travel
“I love great food and wine, I travel the world and I get to taste a great variety of cuisine and try wines of different sorts.  I know patrons of music who take great delight in bringing very fine wines that I couldn’t get in a normal retail store to either the evening sessions or dinners.  I get all these fringe benefits of wonderful food and wine and this is a fantastic circumstance that I wouldn’t trade for anything.  For me, it’s very unique and it’s very beautiful.”

The art of writing wine
Lin:  “I am just finishing an article. You might have read this book called The Billionaire’s Vinegar by Benjamin Wallace.  It’s about forgery or possible forgery of some very, very expensive wine, Château Lafite Bordeaux, that was owned by Thomas Jefferson.  I compared that to a scandal raised by a conservator of the Metropolitan Museum who raised questions about the authenticity of one of the most famous Stradivari violins in the world about 10 years ago.  So, it’s about the difficulty of authenticating ancient wines and ancient music, the challenges and the various scandals that evolved from these two particular events.  The next column I’m going to write will be one about Domaine de la Romanée-Conti and the tasting there.  And one about my foodie experience in Burgundy.”

 Check out Cho-Liang Lin’s album ‘Drive Time’ at the iTunes store