Whether Wine is Art is Really Up to Us

wine as artMany people think wine cannot be art because it lacks the creative vision of painting or the emotional expression of music. But such vain attempts to limit what counts as art are likely to fail.

Even a cursory glance at recent art history shows that the media in which art can be achieved is not set in stone. The fine arts were once restricted to painting, sculpture, architecture, music and poetry. But today a stroll through an art museum takes you past furniture, textiles, mass produced industrial products, environments, found objects, clothing, electronic devices, conceptual art, plastic and metal work, jewelry, installations of plants—the list of materials and media is endless.

There is no way to determine in advance of creative activity which materials can be artistically explored and what form they can take. From the body of the artist, as in Marina Abramović’s work, to the background sounds of John Cage’s 4 minutes and 33 seconds of silence, to the dramatic environmental art of Christo’s Valley Curtain, artistic activity is a continuously branching web always seeking new materials and different media in which to express meaning.

Only explorative activity on the part of artists and the attention of patrons can determine what counts as art.

Wine is art if winemakers make art with wine and if wine lovers treat wine with the kind of attention devoted to art. It’s really up to us and how we direct our energy and attention.

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