What is food-grade concrete?
September 8, 2011 8:47 AM   Subscribe

Architectural theorist David Gissen has recently been travelling through France to learn about wine. His dedicated Twitter account @100aocs has attracted the attention of sommeliers, importers, and winemakers. Edible Geography caught up with Gissen to discuss wine, wine culture, geography, and Gissen's re-thought wine map of France based on Metro maps such as London's Tube map. How Wine Became Metropolitan: An Interview with David Gissen.
posted by shakespeherian (9 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Is there a higher resolution version of the map?
posted by vacapinta at 8:54 AM on September 8, 2011

I don't think so. It's apparently for sale, is why, I think.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:01 AM on September 8, 2011

Fascinating stuff - thanks for this!

From the interview:

"This map has annoyed some French wine people because it makes all the wines equal. Normal wine maps contain subtle cues that tell you how fine different areas are, but on this map, Muscadet and Volnay are exactly the same — yet a benchmark Volnay costs $120 and a benchmark Muscadet is $15."


"one of the things I think that Riedel has unintentionally fostered is an idea that wine is just data — it’s just bouquet and colour and finish and mouthfeel, and the other data points that professional wine tasters are looking at when they’re evaluating wine. But just because a professional taster is interested in those things doesn’t mean that the other ninety-nine percent of humanity that drinks wine out of a glass has to have the Riedel data-fication experience.

I guess I’m interested in objects that will enable us to taste wine in a way that enables other experiences besides pastoralism or data."


"I get into so many arguments with people about this on Twitter, because they say terroir is nature and I find that absurd. After all, someone chose to plant grapes somewhere or chose to brew something somewhere. I think Philippe Rahm’s way of thinking about terroir is much more interesting — it’s less rooted in the thing and more rooted in the mind of the person experiencing it. In his underground houses, the idea of terroir involves provoking the ground in some way — provoking something out it for the experience of the inhabitant of the house. In other words, terroir is not something that’s necessarily innately perceptible. It’s produced through human — in that case, architectural — intervention."

The wine world is in desperate need of a re-think, and it sounds like Gissen has some pretty fertile conceptual approaches to help escape the overload of old dogma that the French have so ably sold the world for centuries.

I'd been hooked on mathematician-turned-wine theorist Luca Maroni's iconoclastic axioms and theorems, and then greatly enjoyed Gary Vaynerchicks populist/mad-cap recasting of wine tastings, so it's great to find a new, very concrete (no pun intended) line of re-thinking.

Wine has a singular way of accomodating and engendering ideas, and it's a crying shame to see so much of the wineworld's energies still tied up in musty old commonplaces.

(Regarding the concrete itself: the cement fermentation vats used here in Italy were normally resin-coated on the inside - but I doubt the current experimenters would settle for that.)
posted by progosk at 9:51 AM on September 8, 2011 [3 favorites]

Gissen's re-thought wine map of France based on Metro maps such as London's Tube map. --- I am shocked -- SHOCKED! -- that this hasn't been featured prominently over on BoingBoing.
posted by crunchland at 10:24 AM on September 8, 2011

I am ordering the wine map. This post needs to be flagged as OMGsoveryawesome
posted by pointystick at 10:26 AM on September 8, 2011

Excellent. Thank you.
posted by sf9719 at 10:36 AM on September 8, 2011

His talk about terroir:

...it’s less rooted in the thing and more rooted in the mind of the person experiencing it...terroir is not something that’s necessarily innately perceptible. It’s produced through human...intervention.

reminded me of this line from an interview of Ray Isle:

No matter how long I work in the wine business, I still get a kick tasting wines that old. ’67 was the same year the Stones released “Ruby Tuesday.” People were protesting the Vietnam war. And here’s this bottle of fermented grape juice that’s transformed over the four decades since then into something ethereal and extraordinary.

I like the way that these psychic effects aren't being dismissed as irrelevant details, but on the other hand aren't being woo'd into an actual physical thing. Just because you can't taste the land doesn't mean you can't taste the land.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 10:36 AM on September 8, 2011

Someday I'll have a map room. Someday.
posted by odinsdream at 10:37 AM on September 8, 2011

odinsdream Careful, those map rooms can be dangerous.
But yeah, me too.
posted by pointystick at 10:52 AM on September 8, 2011

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