Let's face it - there is seldom a better experience than opening a wine bottle. TFW you slice open the foil, hear the cork pop, and watch the first drop hit the bottom of your glass. It's like unwrapping a present that's been waiting in the basement for at least a couple of years. Unlike a fruitcake from your great aunt, this present gets FAR better with age. It's an all-hands-on-deck sensual experience. The tangibility of this process only enhances the juice itself. That is, unless, the foil cuts your thumb and half the cork splits into the bottle. Can't always be flawless, ya'll. However, the romantic and ridiculously satisfying rhythm of bottle popping is evolving. Wine bars are serving keg wine straight from the tap and we're seeing a huge swell of canned wine hit stores. A fresher, more irreverent brand of marketing is going along with the latter. You can float whatever theory you want as to why. Pesky millennials, economic benefit, higher volume and lower quality. The fact remains the same that tastes in wine consumption are transforming in parallel with its rising popularity. Increasing by an average of 15 million gallons per year for the past 5 years in the U.S., to be exact. So what does that mean for the trusted bottle? Well, safe to assume it's not going anywhere soon. Bottles help wine age properly; especially important for that '09 Chateau Latour you just snagged and want to cellar for...oh...until the end of time. That being said, wine bottles and - more importantly, the experience that goes along with them - will likely see a boost in equity as consumerism shifts how our beloved vino is packaged to us. This sounds all too familiar though, doesn't it? Vinyl records are a great example of how the physical experience augments our enjoyment of a particular thing. In fact, vinyl has saved a number of brick-and-mortar record stores and is the direct result of new ones popping up. Many of us simply love the idea of rifling through a record collection, picking out the one we want, taking it home and tearing the plastic off to reveal that fresh music smell. Bottled wine could see the same fate. As canned wine becomes more common and wine on draft hits its the stride, the very idea of a wine bottle could be seen as part of an exclusive offering. Similar to how record labels distribute limited vinyl pressings of a new record, wineries may save their grand cru or reserve lots for unique bottles meant to inspire bragging rights. The low-yield vintages of many wine brands makes this a naturally stellar fit. Imagine a Shepard Fairey original adorned your limited release bottle of Napa chardonnay. Or your reserve petite syrah came in a bottle labeled with an exclusive Banksy print. Maybe a blown-up 16 x 20 version accompanies it, with profits going towards an organization supporting Syrian refugees. The artwork and tangibility becomes just as enjoyable as the narrative of the wine itself. Wineries like Artiste in Los Olivos are already putting this into practice. Artiste features artists' paintings from across the globe on its bottles - as well as in the art gallery inside the tasting room. Each piece of art is carefully curated to match the juice in the bottle. Find me a better expression of creativity and I'll take your glass away from you... We may be aiming for convenience when it comes to how we consume our wine, but that shouldn't compromise the experience of snapping open the bottle. The good thing is we may see that experience become more special as bottles become the focal point. Here's a couple of savvy-design wines that may spark the collectible bottle movement. Also be sure to check out the process of what goes into creating a wine label from the lens of the designer: Field Recordings Wonderwall Pinot Noir 2016 The Show Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
All Stories in "vinostyle"
Ah, summer sixteen. For those of us with rotating seasons, hunting down swimwear can be a long-awaited event. With each passing season fashion brands are putting plenty of thought into their swim lines, revolutionizing swimsuits with innovative textiles, designs and prints for both men and women. Miami Swim Week offered up a plethora of swim brands - most independent, some from well known designers. For men, the 2016 show featuring swim styles that have evolved for the male body- presenting styles in speedos and trunks, both short and long. [caption id="attachment_3374" align="aligncenter" width="259"] Paul Smith's Peach Trunk Credit: Farfetch[/caption] As for women's styles the more things change, the more they stay the same.The one piece has enjoyed it's time in the sun for a quite a few seasons - and this season was especially delicious with Mara Hoffman presenting a halter one-piece with symmetrical cut outs. A style that is both nod to past trends but fully revitalized for today's enjoyment. [caption id="attachment_3375" align="aligncenter" width="233"] Mara Hoffman[/caption] And with summer brings so much to enjoy. The season bears fruit of all sorts - one in particular being white peach, a prime component in Charles Smith's 2014 Kung Fu Girl Riesling. Born in Washington State, Charles Smith is somewhat of a personality in wine, approaching the craft with straightforward, honest appeal that doesn't skimp on the quality, despite being affordable. There are 8 wine brands that Charles Smith has developed, each with its own specific purpose and personality to not only stand on its own but work well within the Charles Smith squad. The 2014 Riesling boasts lime leaves as well as the peach and the nose is delightful accompanied by a long, tantalizing finish that is tangy as well as mildly sweet. Rieslings are typically sweet, (or occasionally semi-dry like the Kung Fu Girl) originating from the Rhine region is Germany. For wherever you are this wine brings liveliness and zing that is perfect for summer days or nights. Swimwear, optional.