Monthly Archives: April 2010

Glasses

One of the most important thing in wine tasting is the glass you use: a wrong glass could nullify months of hard work.

Since this sensitivity has grown, several firms have begun to produce specific glasses. One of them is Riedel, an Austrian firm specialized in glasses and decanters, all handmade.

 

            

Riedel studied a glass for every kind of wine, even for Teroldego. You can find them in their Wine and Glass Guide!

As a contrast to this approach Eoos, a Viennese design studio, thought a universal tasting glass for Alessi: Alberto’s Vineyard, a synthesis of a white-wine glas and a red-wine glas. One side of the glas is made in order to keep inside and concentrate the aroma, while the other half  opens outwards, liberates fragrance and lets the wine oxygegnate.

 

Eoos said that the interesting thing in this glass is the possibility to “create wine”, because wine is still developing when you use this glass and you can transform it just by rotating the glass. This is an ironical glass, but there’s the idea, behind it, of a glass which can helps you to learn something by yourself, and not listening to someone “expert”.

Advertisements

Gusto nudo 2010

…or the fair of the heretical winegrowers

In Bologna, on 24th and 25th April, there will be an unusual wine fair: Gusto nudo. Here will meet all the italian “heretical winegrowers”, that is winegrowers who take care of real taste of wine, spirits and beer. In order to maintain it these winegrowers use natural methods, refuse chemical products and so on.

Here is their manifesto.

GUSTO NUDO
Vicolo Bolognetti, 2 – Bologna
24 – 25 Aprile 2010

A jump in South Tyrol

 There’s a road in South Tyrol, the Wine route, which passes through vineyards, villages and hills. It’s full of beautiful landscapes, amazing trees but also things that arouse your curiosity… One of this things is architecture, or, better, the interaction between old, traditional architecture and new architectural/urban interventions: very frequentily in South Tyrol these ones are made intelligently.

I’d like to focus my attention on two new buildings, related obviously to the world of wine: Winecenter in Kaltern and the New Wine Cellar in Tramin.

 

Kaltern is a village near to a lake, surrounded by vineyards and full of German tourists; Tramin is a village nearby, land of the native vine “Gewürztraminer“. Both villlages are pretty, a sort of place out of the world. And both villages live on wine.

Kaltern renovated its wine cellar and built a Wine center nearby, right on the Wineroute. The project is signed by an Austrian studio, Feld72: they started with a question: “Can you replace a place?“. The answes is, I think, the connection between the old wine cellar and the new shop, which has been created by an empty space: an intern yard, included by a monolithic structure, sweetened by great glass windows which in the daytime shine as mirrors and reflect landscape around them, and which, on the contrary, in the night-time show, display, the intern life and the structure of the architecture. Inside the building there are few floors designed as a route, or better as a tour, between the different ways of approaching wine: tasting, knowing, buying, enjoying…

   

[more details here and here]

Tramin, on the other side, in the same years built a brand new wine cellar. Here there’s not the problem of interaction between old building and new one, but between wine-growers’, workers’ and employees’  flow and visitors’-tourists’  flow: they had to be separated. Werner Tscholl designed a wine cellar which has been defined an “archi-sculpture” because of its green wrapping. It seems imposing, and it is, but in a soft way: the green is bright, quite innatural, but it will be less striking when vegetation around it will grow (last sunday there were just a few sprouts!). That green, and that shape, fit well with the conformation of hills around it, and the choice of such angles and broken lines simulates a naturalness which, closely seen, disappears. As you can see from the pictures, the wrapping dialogs with the interior furnishing, for example with the shelves that hold the bottles.

   

[more details here]

Labels

Yestarday I went to a FuoriSalone event: Cambiare Etichetta at Cantina Scoffone. It’s a nice event, even bacause it makes you think of the meaning or, better, of the function of labels.

Since my grandfather closed his wine cellar, in his house the old, unused labels are used for shopping lists, taking notes and scribbling and drawing at the phone; the nice thing is that we use them on the wrong (?!) side. Well, labels are  not only “sheets”, simple cards sticked to bottles, but they convey messages, they can, as some designers have highlighted, become objects, memories of wine or they can even improve wine tasting.

For example Giulio Iacchetti has thought a wooden label which becomes a horizontal support for the bottle.

Gordon Guillaumier has made a label for blind people, with names and information written in Braille: it makes you think of wine not only with the sense of smell, taste, sight but even with the sense of touch.

Then there are labels which give you information about the wine, other ones which become a “drop stop“, other ones are thought as “dresses” for the bottle… it’s worth going there!

Via Pietro Custodi 4, Milan
Opening 12 April h 18-24
13-16 April h 17.30-24
17-18 April h 12-24

iPhone wineApps

Do you remember Moleskine’s wine journal? Well, if you have an iPhone you won’t need it anymore, because, since there are apps for everything, there are of course apps designed for wine lovers.

      

Wine Journal is pretty the same as the Moleskine’s one,  it lets you catalog and keep track of all of the wine in your cellar.

Snooth wine lets you search for wines in your area, find local wine stores, and keep track of your favorite wines.

Wine prices finds current and past wine auction prices, as well as current wine retail prices, thanks to its large database of wine.

 Wine enthusiast guide provides you with the contents of the Wine Enthusiast magazine.

    

Wine Pics by Sommelier brings the vast wine knowledge of the world’s best sommeliers out of the restaurant and into the palm of your hand.

Wine PhD provides you with the information you need to make an intelligent wine selection.

Wine list pro has become one of the most sophisticated and versatile iPhone tools for the wine lovers.

Wine Glossary helps you to understand wine language.

These applications are practically the same, but they can result useful and funny. I’d like to point out that they are in the “Fashion and Trend” section of the Appstore, fact that highlights what I call the “wine mentality“, this removal from wine itself reducing it to “just” symbolical element.

Cavit Trento

In 1950 some wine growers felt the need for a new approach to wine production. That’s how Cavit was born: a consortium of 11 wine cooperatives, which represent over 4500 wine growers, 65% of the whole Trentino production.

Cavit takes care of the refining process up to the bottling. Of course they collaborate with Istituto Agrario San Michele, in order to keep in the foreground quality; in particular they are working on a special project (“Il Maso”), which aims at finding favourable ecosystems for some vines and developing them. 

                 

In my opinion, the most important aspect of Cavit is their marketing strategy: quality is their aim (it’s pretty obvious: when the ground of which you dispose is not so much – and in Trentino it’s not so much indeed – you must bet on quality), but the way they want to relate to the world of wine is typically marketing driven. For example, after completing a tasting course, about 20 people form the “Panel”, a group of  judges called to be a reference for the production choices made by Cavit , but more importantly, a guide in the  consumers’ taste. The services they offer, besides a big range of wines (from sparkling wines – typical of Trento area – to awarded red and white wines from every possible valley), comprehends “useful” matching advices, ad hoc recipes and tests on your wine skills.