With a little bit of creativity we could draw all kinds of similarities between wine and art.
For one, our understanding of the two are largely subjective. The art world and wine connoisseurs have developed all sorts of criteria that we can use to judge the quality of a wine and the excellence of a painting. When it comes down to it, however, a good part of what we like is determined by our personal tastes.
For another, art like wine only gets better with age. I’m sure Michelangelo’s frescoes in the Sistine Chapel were extraordinarily beautiful when they were first created, but 500 years later they are somehow even more spectacular. At the same time I’m doubtful if leaving a bottle of Naked Grape in a basement for 10 years will improve the taste. I rather think that while our appreciation for certain art and our taste for particular vintages develops over time, good art like good wine starts with the painter and the canvas, the vintner and the grape.
Then there is the “the more I try it the more I like it” phenomenon. I’m not simply referring to the fact that after every glass of wine our concern for its quality gradually diminishes, but more so to the development that our palette makes for identifying quality after having tasted a couple of exceptional wines. Seeing a new piece of art or visiting an art gallery for the very first time might lead to slight confusion and uncertainty, but in time we develop a fondness for particular pieces and the entire gallery experience.
It was lovely to see so many new faces at the AGA’s most recent wine tasting event. The event’s popularity seems to suggest that wine and art indeed make a very good match. Through events like this, the Art Gallery of Algoma hopes to encourage the Sault community and beyond to nurture an appreciation for the finer things in life. In the words of John Keats “Give me books, French wine, [art], fruit, fine weather and a little music played out of doors by somebody I do not know.”