San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA wine exhibit) is showing “How Wine Became Modern: Design + Wine 1976 to Now” through April 17. It happens we are members of this museum so we were invited to the members-only opening on November 19. The exhibit itself is about as good as it could be, featuring a wall full of bottles with creative labels (including one we had tried, Bitch, see bottom of page).
There was also a collection of unusual glasses and decanters (thank you, Reidel). A bunch of books about wine (really? books about wine?) What caught our eye were the wine diet books. I’ll raise my glass to the the “Red Wine Diet.”
Also a Japanese manga book featuring cult winery Screaming Eagle.
There was a wall mounted with jars containing various aromas. Each atomizer would deliver the aromas of a particular wine varietal. Tony is pictured trying the chardonnay.
We were charmed to see that one of the novelty bottles we’ve been hanging onto for laughs – Bitch – was included in this SF MOMA exhibit. Here is SF MOMA’s wall. Then below is Norma holding our saved bottle.
Everything was swell upstairs with the “art.” The disaster was the wine-tasting on the first floor. There were five wineries pouring tastes at $2 each: Berryessa Gap, Bonny Doon, Paul Dolan, Field Recordings, and Hobo. Randall Grahm should be embarassed. The only wines that did not have serious technical flaws were those from Hobo — and their wines were just inoffensive, lacking varietal character in either the pinot noir or the zinfandel. One of Dolan’s wines had a distinct petrochemical flavor.
SFMOMA should stick to art. For anyone visiting the museum, I’d advise focusing on the other exhibits. This one smacks of “product placement” or more charitably, just devolved into a celebration of commericial ad design.