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How Wine Became Modern explores the visual culture of wine and its stunning transformation over the last three decades. Designed in collaboration with renowned architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the exhibition combines historical artifacts, architectural models, design objects, newly commissioned artworks, and enticing installations, including a “smell wall,” to probe many aspects of wine culture, among them the globalization of wine, concepts of terroir, wine in popular media, and new strategies in label, glassware, and winery design.
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art “Just when you thought the boys at SLO Down Wines couldn’t get more accomplished, or sophisticated or whatever… the art world decides to go slummin’. Hand picked by a curator, which is German for ‘French’ to be displayed along side some of the most amazing bottles from around the world, Sexual Chocolate made it’s first trip into a Modern Art Museum. When we heard from the well-bred viewing public that our bottle was on display in the San Francisco MOMA, our immediate reaction was, ‘What the hell is a MOMA?’ Once we looked up the meaning of the word acronym we then deduced through hours of de-coding that it stood for San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Needless to say, the boys at SLO Down never had so many refined dates in a six-month span. A whole lot of, ‘Oh, I’m terribly sorry, are you not a modern artist?’ was thrown around in mixed company. The reception was truly astounding as our little hand written marvel had truly been recognized for the masterpiece it was. And to make matters worse better, and generate a little Internet buzz, Brandon and Bo strategically vandalized modified their own bottle by gluing the web address right on it. Literally tens of people flocked to our website. We really love being cultured and shit.”
NAPA, Calif. (KGO) – Countless revelers will be ringing in the New Year with some champagne or a glass or two of fine wine. For many, picking what wine to drink doesn’t always hinge on what’s inside the bottle, but what’s on the outside. ABC7 took a look at two local wine makers who are all about the labels.
In winter in the Napa Valley, you’ll see barren vines surrounded by a blaze of lingering autumn glory. It’s a time of year when they are the only segment of the wine industry allowed to be resting. However, two winemakers sure aren’t.
After the harvest comes in, the debate begins about what to do with it. At SLO Down Wines Inc., for winemakers Brandon Allen and Bo Silliman, there’s a future blend somewhere inside hundreds of small sample bottles.
“Well we have a general idea of what we what it to taste like and what we want the components to be,” said Silliman.
They’re currently working on a cab inspired, fruit forward wine they intend to call “Love Hammer”.
When asked who they were hoping to appeal to with Love Hammer, Allen responds with a laugh, “Hopefully, old women.”
The boys from SLO Down Wines have one hit on their resume already. It’s a popular, tasty red aimed at their own demographic, a blend they named “Sexual Chocolate”. Between marketing and taste, it has caught the attention of some of Napa’s more influential wine producers like John Wilkinson from the Bin To Bottle Winery.
“They’re cutting edge. I mean, I think they’re doing things differently. They’re going to shake up the wine world,” said Wilkinson.
I guess it is pretty important to be famous… but does this make us child stars? Do I have to start using designer drugs? Man, I hate techno…
“They started as bootleggers barely old enough to drink. Brandon Allen, now 27, was working construction and attending an occasional class at the junior college in San Luis Obispo. Bo Silliman, now 25, was studying premed at the University of Louisville in Kentucky in between throwing keggers. And 27-year-old Chip Forsythe, who didn’t have a whole lot to recommend him other than he was a decent wrestler, had somehow managed to get into Cal Poly.
Forsythe and Silliman were best friends in high school back in Dallas. After moving to San Luis Obispo to go to college, Forsythe met Allen when they started dating roommates. Eventually, all three would come together to keep the party going – straight into building a budding wine brand that bucks convention.
Their San Francisco company, SLO Down Wines, only makes one blend – Zinfandel and Syrah – which they…
call Sexual Chocolate. In less than eight years, they grew from producing 300 bottles a year, which they peddled in the Cal Poly dormitories, to 2,300 cases sold in three states, including California, and Hong Kong. They said they expect to report $700,000 in sales this year.
“We’re completely breaking all the pre-existing constricts,” Silliman said. “We didn’t start with $20 million. We don’t have a tasting room, and we’re not Chateau Silliman, handed down to us from our parents’ parents. We’re SLO Down Wines, and we’re here to (expletive) things up.”
What’s worse than being alone on Valentine’s Day? Still dating your ex who denies cheating on you with your best friend even though you caught them in the act! Some people are clearly delusional and should seek psychiatric help, or better yet, remain single! Just because you’re alone on Valentine’s Day, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it. Here’s what you do: light several candles while you listen to Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” at high volume. You can do this while simultaneously cutting both of them out of every picture you ever took together and sticking pins in two look alike voo-doo dolls. Next, pick up one of the 5 wines above that are suited to your preference in chocolate and pour yourself a glass of pink or red vino. Then, go to your chocolate drawer and pull out your favorite chocolate. Don’t forget to also make a toast to the pairing of wine and chocolate tasting better than their bullsh#@! Finally, safely set fire to those pictures and anything else they left at your house! Don’t forget, you can always roast s’mores over the fire! Now, that’s what I call romantic!
1. 2007 Candlewood Cellars Zinfandel Evenus Port Bottled - This late harvest dessert wine from Paso Robles pairs excellently with dark chocolate due to its dark jam, chocolate and nutty notes. It has enough weight to stand up to the fat content of the chocolate, in addition to the sugar and bitter tannins required to mimic the chocolate itself. When thinking of picking up a bottle of Port, reach for this wine as a delicious alternative.
2. 2010 Gianni Gagliardo Villa M Rosso Brachetto d’Aqui - When many people think of pairing chocolate with wine, they always go for brut Champagne, which is actually horrible with chocolate. There’s not enough fruitiness to stand up to the chocolate. Instead, I urge them to pick up a bottle of this slightly sweet, semi-sparkling, refreshing red wine from Piedmont, Italy that goes hand in hand with milk chocolate. You still get the bubbles, yet the wine has enough sugar and body weight to actually work with milk chocolate. Plus, it reminds me of strawberries and rose petals, exactly what I think of on Valentine’s Day.
3. NV Henry Martin Shiraz Premium Cuvee Sparkling - This wine is for the adventurous! It’s also red and bubbly with a touch of sugar, full body and all the spicy notes one expects from Shiraz. The wine works for the same reasons Brachetto does, yet has a touch more complexity due to the grape variety that will make your chocolate pairing slightly more interesting.
4. 2010 SLOdown Wines Sexual Chocolate - Many of you also think red wine and chocolate go hand in hand. When the wine is full-bodied, fruit forward and full of flavor with a little residual sugar left in it like this red blend, you definitely have a delicious pairing. Plus, the name of this wine demands that you drink it alongside dark chocolate, preferably with a hot date!
5. Jean Baillette-Prudhomme Rose de Saignee Champagne - Finally, there is a Champagne that pairs well with chocolate, rose! This rose is extremely fruity, although not necessarily sweet, due to it’s time spent in contact with the grape skins, approximately 4 days! This skin contact also lends bitter qualities that work well with dark chocolate. Now, this is the proper way to enjoy chocolate and Champagne!
*Other wines that will work with MILK chocolate are: Bual Madeira, Moscato d’Asti, Tawny Port and PX Sherry; DARK chocolate: Austrian Zweigelt, Asti, Banyuls (a personal favorite), Gewurztraminer, Malmsey Madeira, Muscat and Tawny Port, PX Sherry and Vin Santo.
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