Wine Beyond the Glass

An exhibition examines the ways that wine and design go hand in hand

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Photo: Matthew Millman

You've sipped fine wine; you may even have your own designer wine cellar, but have you examined the dirt from 17 vineyards, seen a slow drip of red wine fall from the ceiling, or smelled wine from glasses mounted on a wall? These are some of the experiences offered up at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in the exhibition .

With clever displays conceived by , the architecture firm that designed the and new look, the show explores the culture of wine, its language, affectations, traditions, and science, from the look of labels (200 of them are organized into categories including Good + Evil and Cheeky), to the newfangled shapes for glassware (such as by French designer Etienne Meneau, which looks like a network of veins). There's even a section devoted to the impressive architecture of hotels that vineyards have built (such as the Frank Gehry-designed in Spain).

Then there's the art. A large mural by charts more than 200 exterior paint colors inspired by wine; sculpture Le Nuancier Finement Boisé depicts a chromatic spectrum across 11 bottles of white wine; and photographs of a winery unravel some of the mystery of how wine is made.

All of which will make you ready to head home and pour yourself a glass.

"How Wine Became Modern: Design + Wine 1976 to Now," San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, through April 17;

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