Have you ever wondered what wine would pair with your favorite art movement? Me neither, but I thought it’d be fun. Follow me through this quick art history lesson and enjoy some wine along the way.
Da Vinci Mona Lisa 1503-1515
Renaissance & Muscat Blanc
The Renaissance artists were drama kings. (Feminism wasn’t cool yet.) Back then, intense light and shading was the modern-day Instagram filter. In the Mona Lisa, Da Vinci fused the subject with the background using a hazy or dreamlike effect called sfumato. So you know, he went bold with #nofilter. Also originating in Greece and Italy, Muscat Blanc was likely Mona Lisa’s wine of choice (and probably made her feel hazy, too). High in fruit and acidity, this wine is commonly characterized by lemon, orange and pear flavors.
Romanticism & Riesling
The Romantics were an 1880s version of the modern-day tree-hugger. A very emotional bunch, they could look at a flower and start to cry. Riesling is definitely the wine to pair with these lovers. Originating in Germany, Riesling is full of natural, fruity flavors like lime, green apple and beeswax. A wine so beautiful, it’ll probably make you cry too.
Caspar David Friedrich Wanderer above the Sea of Fog 1818
Claude Monet The Japanese Footbridge 1899
Impressionism & Rosé
The Impressionists ain’t got time for that. Working outside, their style was fast and sketchy, aiming to capture the quick-changing natural light. They were all about the sensory experience. Since he worked in Paris, I’m guessing Claude Monet sipped (rapidly) on that Rosé, soaking in the floral and fruity flavors.
Vincent Van Gogh The Starry Night 1889
Post-Impressionism & Syrah
The Post-Impressionists were moody af. They used color to create visual tension and intense emotional imbalance. Much like these emotionally overloaded artists, Syrah is a full-bodied wine saturated in rich, intense flavors of dark berries, plum and chocolate. The deep color of Syrah would make those Post-Impressionists swoon.
Pablo Picasso Three Musicians 1921
Cubism & Chardonnay
Paris in 1907 got real weird. The Cubists revolted against any realism and depicted reality in abstract shapes and lines. They took out all perspective and depth and flattened it right out. Similarly, the French wine region Jura is known for being the “most obscure region” in all of France. Their most popular grape? You guessed it, Chardonnay.
Salvador Dali The Persistence of Memory 1931
Surrealism & Grenache
If you thought the Cubists of Paris were on something, wait till you see the work of the Surrealists. Their work portrays a dream-like state full of hallucinations. They aimed at exploring the unconscious. Fun. What wine pairs better with this movement than Grenache? Also originating in Spain, this wine’s high alcohol content may have contributed to some of the inspiration behind these works. Full of fruit, you can find flavors of dried strawberry, plum and grapefruit in this dreamy wine. After just a few sips you’ll feel your taste buds melt, almost as dramatically as the clocks in Dalí’s most famous piece.
Andy Warhol Campbell’s Soup Cans 1962
Pop Art & Sauvignon Blanc
Quite different from the Surrealists, the artists of the Pop Art era told it like it was. They didn’t sugar coat anything. What you saw was what you got. Artists like Andy Warhol painted ordinary objects, like Campbell’s soup cans or Brillo boxes. Much like the work of the Pop Artists, Sauvignon Blanc is in-your-face and overt. While specific notes and flavors can vary depending on its region, Sauvignon Blanc will always be crisp, acidic and remarkable.
You may not be an art historian, and you probably aren’t a sommelier. But at least now you have an imaginative way to discuss the flavors of your favorite wines and the techniques used for the world’s most famous art pieces. We promise, if you describe the first sip of a Syrah as “Van Gogh swiftly painting a plum-stained Starry Night on your palate,” people’s jaws will drop. Remember to sip with that pinky up, you’re a fancy wino now.
Sources: Wine Cooler Direct