The relationship between art and wine is much celebrated.
At the launch of a new contemporary exhibition in the La Motte Museum as well as the release of new packaging for our premium wine range, prominently featuring artworks by celebrated South African artist, JH Pierneef on the front labels, I again pondered this relationship.
Why do art and wine go together so well? An although there are sure to be many opinions on the matter, I think it is mainly due to the fact that both require appreciation that goes beyond the initial experience.
For someone who knows wine, the colour as the wine is poured, the initial nose and the first sip would be an indication of the wine’s quality – as would be the first glimpse of a painting to the eye of an art expert. For most people however, it is only when spending some time with the wine or the artwork that it really comes to life. And often it is at the hand of an expert guide.
Tasting wine with the winemaker or connoisseur who explains the flavours will make the wine tasting experience much better. In the same way, viewing a piece of art with the curator of the exhibition or an art expert accompanying you, will make you better understand the work. In both instances you are left to make up your own mind as to how much you like the wine or artwork, but you might at least understand that the light red of the Pinot Noir is because of the style of the wine rather than the quality and that the angry strokes of the artist is because of the time of revolution in which the work was painted.
In both instances, some technical knowledge also helps you truly appreciate the wine or artwork. Understanding the influence of barrel maturation, fermentation temperatures and blending gives insight into the final product. As a winemaker, these are of course much more my strengths than understanding the technicalities of painting, sculpting and performing. Being married to a mezzo-soprano and part of a family that truly appreciates art, I do however know that exposure is one of the best ways in which to learn more about art.
Just as tasting and drinking wine will develop your nose and palate, visiting art exhibitions and attending performances, will eventually give you a better feel and insight for art.
I am sure there are many more similarities between these two wonderful elements, but suffice to say, I often find that enjoying one encourages the enjoyment of the other.