How Wine Became modern @ SF MOMA

Last week I went to see the “How Wine Became modern” exhibition @ SF MOMA. Nothing exceptional, but certainly interesting.

Photo: © Matthew Millman, courtesy SFMOMA

The Stuff

The most relevant section for me, in the context of my documentary about natural wine, was the collection of maybe 50 different products commonly added to wine: different types of color, synthetic tannins, nutrients, phenols, etc. Lots of stuff!

On the glass separating me from this collection of stuff, there were nice quotes from different people in the wine world. Here are some iPhone pictures of them:

Interesting trivia

  • In 1976, 13% of world wine was exported
  • In 2011, 34% of world wine is exported
  • In 1990, the EU subsidized some vine uprooting to create scarcity (!)
  • 81% of Australian wine is exported today
  • 18% of American wine is exported today
  • Nothing in Canada is classified as “ideal wine region”, except for a tiny part in Souther Ontario.

DRC 1946: priceless

I was attracted by a piece of art from Nicolas Boulard: a bottle of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, 1946. Purpose of the artist? To highlight the vulnerability to counterfeiting high-valued wines (a DRC 1945 magnum is worth around $80 000). Indeed, in 1945, Burgundy’s most esteemed 4.4 acres got devastated by phylloxera and the vines had to be uprooted. But the vineyard was not replanted until 1947, marking a blank spot for the 1946 vintage!

The exhibition will last until April 17. If you happened to be in San Francisco, give it a shot, it’s worth it.

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