Artists, designers and style arbiters have discovered that wine hues and names can be intoxicating. Here's the proof—from a sprawling museum canvas to the Bakelite handle on a steel coffee press.


In This Article:

Art & Artifice of Wine

Dennis Adams in Spill.

Courtesy of Dennis Adams through Sfmoma

When did wine become a cultural force in America? An unusually ambitious and interactive exhibit launching next month at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, "How Wine Became Modern: Design + Wine 1976 to Now," argues that the defining moment was the Judgment of Paris, the famous 1976 blind tasting in which California wines beat out their French counterparts. The exhibit, designed by architecture firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro, begins with a huge mural from artist Peter Wegner called In [ ] Veritas. With dots of more than 200 house-paint colors named for wine terms, it reveals how oeno-jargon has gone mainstream. Visitors can sniff flasks of wine at a "smell wall" or watch Dennis Adams's film Spill (pictured), in which the artist walks through Bordeaux splashing red wine down his white suit. "The beauty of wine is that all people relate to it on some level, even if they don't drink it," Adams says.

"How Wine Became Modern" opens November 20;

The Beauty of Wine

Smashbox Eye shadow

© Hector Sanchez


Eye shadow in Cabernet and Champagne. $16 each;


Le Rouge Absolu lipstick in Merlot. $26;


100% Natural Lipcolor in Red Zin. $15;

Wine Hues on the Table

Le Creuset

Courtesy Le Creuset

Le Creuset

The French cast-iron cookware company's newest color: cassis. $190 for a 3.5-qt pot;


Courtesy of Sieger

Sieger by Theresienthal

Two German design masters collaborated on these hand-engraved glasses. From $348 each;

Paul Smith for Stelton

© TableArt/Stelton

Paul Smith for Stelton

Fashion icon Smith adds a purple Bakelite handle to a coffee press by Arne Jacobsen. $349;

Georg Jensen

Courtesy Georg Jensen/Fotograf Peter Krasilnikoff APS

Paul Smith for Stelton

"Moonlight Grapes" sterling silver necklace from Georg Jensen is a fresh reworking of a classic design. From $395;

Wine Country Art Pilgrimage

When winemaker Marco Pallanti and his wife, Lorenza Sebasti, took over the vineyards of Tuscany's Castello di Ama, they wanted the estate to reflect its Renaissance-era heritage. This meant not only meticulously replanting acres to produce superb Chianti wines, but also embracing another Renaissance tradition: patronage of the arts. Every year since 2000, they have invited cutting-edge artists like Louise Bourgeois and Anish Kapoor to live on their property and create site-specific pieces that comment on the winery and its surrounding vineyards. South African Kendell Geers's "Revolution" sign casts a red glow over barrels; Frenchman Daniel Buren's mirrored wall blocks one vineyard view while reflecting another. The 2010 commission will be the Russian-born duo of Ilya and Emilia Kabakov.

Visits by appointment: Wed. and Fri., 10 a.m.–2 p.m.; Località Ama 53013, Gaiole, Chianti-Siena;


Tod Brilliant's Polaroids and digital photographs reveal a California wine country that is often overlooked by outsiders. From $200;


Known for her signature terrarium sculptures, Paula Hayes now makes tableware like blue stemless wineglasses. From $140 a glass, Cama Products; 917-680-1015.

Photo Art

These ghostly prints of glass goblets from Longstreet Collection were created using an antique photography method. From $425; 314-961-3382.