I have a mural in my kitchen that I created from wine & beer labels from around the world. To me it’s not just a work of art or a conversation piece, but more like a photo album. Many of the wines represent various moments and memories in my life. The Joseph Drouchin Clos des Mouches from Beaune, France was my first taste of great wine. And the Rossese di Dolceacqua is from a trip to the Italian Riviera. And the Dogajolo was the Tuscan wine my uncle always brought me when he came to visit. And the Ruffian Porter is from the now defunct Mountain Valley Brew Pub in Suffern, NY that I liked to visit.
Other labels were included in the mural because I thought the name of the wine was humorous. What the heck is Gallo “Pink Chablis”? Or Royal Host “California Rhine Wine”? And some were included because the labels were clever, charming or simply enjoyable to look at. Maybe I was influenced by my recent trip to the MOMA, but as I stood admiring my handiwork and reminiscing about the history of various labels and admiring the beauty of others, I began wondering about the artistry of the wine label.
Back in the 1960’s, American artists began glorifying everyday objects as suitable subjects for art. Andy Warhol used cans of Campbell’s Soup, Brillo Pads and bottles of Coca Cola; Jasper Johns used the American Flag and Ballantine Beer; and Roy Liechtenstein used comics. Why not wine labels as art? After all labels in the US were no longer simply a listing of the winery and the grape. Now it is not uncommon for a winery to use a graphic designer to create their labels and in many cases the labels are a work of art, suitable for framing.
So, with camera in hand and Photoshop at the ready, I decided to create my own virtual museum using the wine labels from the Finger Lakes region of New York State as inspiration. I hope you enjoy the show!
Lucas Vineyards, 1997 Captain’s Belle – Finger Lakes Blush Table Wine, lnterlaken NY
Shaw Vineyards, LiBella – Pinot Grigio, Himrod NY
Hunt Country Vineyards, Foxy Lady – Blush, Branchport NY
Villa Bellangelo, 2011 Chardonnay, Dundee NY
Bully Hill Vineyards, 1988 Love My Goat – Red Table Wine, Hammondsport NY
Lakewood Vineyards, Mystic Mead – Raspberry Mead, Watkins Glen NY
Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellar, Salmon Run – Johannesberg Riesling, Hammondsport NY
Toro Run Estates, Ferro – Red Table Wine (Bordeaux Blend), Romulus NY
Ravines Wine Cellar – 2008 Cabernet Franc, Hammondsport NY
Knapp Vineyards, Cardinal Flower – Finger Lakes Table Wine, Romulus NY
McGregor Vineyards – 1995 Sunflower White , Dundee NY
Rasta Ranch – 1995 Delaware, Hector NY