Deconstructing the grape and discovering the enjoyment of Wine

Juliet Cullinan has designed a novel way to convey her love of the fermented grape in her new concept of “Illumination”, which unpeels the mystical layers of wine appreciation through the media of art, music, and form vibrations.
Since starting the eponymous Juliet Cullinan Standard Bank Wine Festival 26 years ago, her good nose and palate appreciation led to some world firsts in the understanding of flavours and tastes.
Back in 2005, she started using wine symbols to visually describe the structure of wine, without having to write tasting notes out in longhand.  These were launched at the Gourmet Voice in Cannes.
At the same French festival in 2006, Ms Cullinan started an evolution in wine appreciation, by launching the first wine images to depict the flavours of grape varieties.
“I designed the image of a wine glass filled with the distinctive flavours of a New World vintage with bouquets of fruit, flowers, foods, and the natural aromas of each grape variety.
“The artwork was printed in Paris and our launch of the visual concept of tasting wine to the international media at the Gourmet Voice in Cannes, was a world first,” she recalls.
That same year, Juliet Cullinan launched the first bespoke bread and wine pairings using deconstructed wine-flavour profiles to make up some of the ingredients at the Bread and Wine tasting festival at Decorex, South Africa.
In 2009 Ms Cullinan launched the first Google vineyard views of South African wineries in which wine lovers could enjoy virtual wine route tours, plan regional visits and buy online.

“As the world’s first vineyards to be placed on Street View, South African wineries received great exposure while expanding tourism and their global customer base. Now guests at this year’s festival can enjoy a virtual tour of Bouchard Finlayson, De Wetshof, Journey’s End, Ormonde Vineyard and Raka,” she says.
In 2011, Ms Cullinan presented a tasting of Cape Wines to the Monte Carlo Wine & Business Club using the first QR codes on the catalogue, with links to the wineries. That same year, she redefined wine as a fine art, by matching varietal wines to paintings from the Standard Bank’s private collection to highlight connecting themes.

This year she is introducing new ways to appreciate rare and bespoke taste sensations using other senses.
“Not only will we divulge secrets of elite pairings, we will also display the grape with fashion and demonstrate how various music genres can radically change the flavour of the wine.

“This year we will showcase a world-first 3D virtual winery footage experience, screened through Google Glasses and guests can also discover how the tone and harmony of different sounds will affect the taste of the wines.
“Being devoted to wine, I aim to share my understanding with our guests using sound, sight, smell, taste, and touch. I hope that this will be an educated, informed and experiential adventure for all wine and art lovers.

2016 Juliet Cullinan Standard Bank Wine Festival included
We explore wine through the senses using art, music, and experiences to appreciate its taste and composition.

Illumination Sight – Google virtual winery tours

Visitors can experience the first 3D virtual winery tours in the world from the first “winery street view footage” Juliet Cullinan established with Google in 2009.

Illumination Aroma

Aromatic faults in Wine are explained by the Cape Wine Academy.

Illumination Taste 

Wine and Food pairing presenting Chenin blanc with passion fruit which is like a fruit salad and a match made in heaven and Merlot with passion fruit which tastes tannic, dry bitter and unappealing presented by Creation Wines.

Illumination Sound – Music and wine

Guests will listen to 2 instrumental music compositions while tasting wine to illustrate how the tones and beat in music change the taste of wine on your palate.

High notes played by violins or flutes will make the wine will taste more acidic.

Low notes in the music will make the wine taste earthy with undertones of mushrooms and truffles.

Cape Wine Masters Tutored classes

Cape Wine Masters presented a line up of various wines to explore terroir, vintages, regions and flavours.

Check for following below:

Juliet Cullinan has created a few world firsts:

2005 she designed wine symbols to visually describe the structure of wine, without having to write tasting notes out in longhand.  These were launched at the Gourmet Voice in Cannes.

2005 launched the first wine images to depict the flavours of different grapes with a wine glass filled with the distinctive flavours of a New World vintage with bouquets of fruit, flowers, foods, and the natural aromas of each grape variety.

2006 launched the first bespoke bread and wine pairings using deconstructed wine-flavour profiles to make up some of the ingredients at the Bread and Wine tasting festival at Decorex, South Africa.

In 2009 the first Google virtual tours of South African wineries in which wine lovers could enjoy virtual wine route tours, plan regional visits and buy online.

2015 The same music by 3 different artists to show the diversity of music.  I served 3 Chardonnays and 3 Shiraz to show the diversity of Cape Regions.

2016 The first virtual tour using Google 3D Glasses in the world.  These featured South African wineries.

2011 first QR codes on the catalogue, with links to the wineries at the Monte Carlo Wine & Business Club

2011 Redefined wine as a fine art, by matching varietal wines to paintings from the Standard Bank’s private collection to highlight connecting themes at the Juliet Cullinan Standard Bank Wine Festival 2011.

It’s impossible to repeat the experience. As bad as this sounds it’s actually an opportunity change the way you think about wine. Let’s just pretend for a minute that you were able to find the same wine and picked it up 6 months later. Here is a short list of reasons why a wine won’t taste the same:

  1. There were provenance issues (storage/transportation).
  2. The 6 month time difference changed the wine.
  3. The serving temperature was off.
  4. The decanting time was different.
  5. You used different glassware.
  6. It was an “off” bottle.
  7. It was a leaf day.
  8. Your palate was affected by food or medication or weather or changes in your body.
  9. Your memory of the wine distorted your perception of the wine.
  10. Your understanding of Amarone wine has fundamentally changed after your immersion into the region.
  11. Your experience was different.

Wine is part of the art of experience. Experiences are not just wine, they embody time, place, touch, sound and people. It’s a pretty profound idea. Some people get it, others are blind to it, and others still are still searching for this type of experience. Everyone who’s had an aha moment transcends the idea of “wine is a beverage” to “wine is art.” Sommelier/winemaker Rajat Parr even coined name for it: unicorn wine.

P.S. Don’t take my word for it, check out Art as Experience by John Dewey (1934) which discusses having an experience and how it differs from experience and ultimately how it’s an expression of art. read about it on wikipedia

There actually is a great deal of scientific evidence to support these ideas. Your comment that “Biodynamics = Magical” shows that you actually haven’t investigated the subject at all. If you’re interested in stepping outside of your comfort zone I would suggest starting with a book called Blinded by Science, by Matthew Silverstone. He’s done an excellent job of researching and distilling a lot of this information. I think you’ll be quite surprised at the multitude of scientific studies that have significance in this area.

We will be hosting a 3D area to experience the flavours of the grape, by combining wine, art, music and 3D films to South Africa’s A+ income guests.  We would like to borrow 4 scooters, for three evenings, to sit on while watching the first ever 3D Google vineyard views, which I created with Google in 2006.

This year I will be showcasing the first ever 3D viewing of the wineries through the Google Cardboard glasses in the world. Guests will sit on a stationery Vespa to enjoy the experience.  In this image I was watching the views of Paris, listening to French songs and sitting on an old bike.