Bellagio Showcases Great Art and Great Wine

We have a special section on this blog devoted to food and wine pairing. And we often write about the “connection” between wine and music. (Check out the “Editor’s Journal” archives for our recent countdown of the Top 10 Wines Songs of All-Time.)

But is there a similar connection between wine and art? Tarissa Tiberti and Jason Smith believe there is, and once a month, they explore that topic at the Bellagio resort in Las Vegas.

Tiberti is the director of the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art. Smith is the resort’s director of wine and master sommelier. With such outstanding art and wine collections under one roof, the synergy was there for the establishment of a creative collaboration.

Tiberti notes that there are many commonalities between art and wine: “They are both subjective, evoke emotion and tend to be very personal.”

Both also have “baselines” of quality, which are less subjective in nature. And both of those baselines are challenging to explain. We’ll leave the art explanation to the art experts, but we can chime in on “baseline wine quality.”

Basically, winemaking involves a series of basic steps that, if performed correctly, will produce a wine of acceptable quality. These steps include harvesting the grapes at the proper ripeness level, selecting a proper fermentation temperature and timeframe, and following standard health code regulations.

Beyond those “necessities,” winemaking becomes a stylistic pursuit, one in which the winemaker selects the properly “spiced” and “charred” oak barrels (or no barrels at all) for aging, at what point fermentation is stopped (to retain a certain amount of sugar, or no sugar at all), whether other varieties will be blended with the base wine, and so on.

That’s the “personal” part that Tiberti was talking about, and it absolutely applies to both wine and art.

And so, on the second Wednesday of each month from 5 to 7 p.m., the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art hosts “Art and Wine,” during which selected pieces from the art collection are paired with selected bottlings from the wine collection. The cost is $30 for gallery members and $38 for non-members.

“It’s very easy and open for an individual or group,” Tiberti said in a recent Las Vegas Review-Journal article. “There’s no pressure or any of that kind of stuff…no dress code.”

And how does sommelier Smith go about selecting the wines?

“It’s completely subjective,” he told the Review-Journal. “Whatever moves me.”

Added Smith: “I always say wine is fun, but now I say wine and art are even more fun.”

The next Art and Wine event at the Bellagio is scheduled for October 12. You can read more about the monthly gathering and view the schedule for the rest of the year here.

Do you see a correlation between art and wine? Share your thoughts in the comments box below.

Posted in Wine Buzz
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