Wine Design, Uncorked

Bottle after bottle…row upon row…crate upon crate…red, white, red white, pink.

With uniformity and conformity still the norm at most wine stores, we’ve been noticing some trailblazing wine sellers who are turning the old bottle display aesthetic upside down. They’re doing it with bold interior design that redefines the classic pairing of product and education like never before. We like this trend because these new looks mirror what we oenophiles adore about our favorite wines: notes that surprise and intrigue, attention to craft, and respect for the organic birthright of the grape–not to mention the consumer.

CoolHunter has been following this trend and points to some stunning new wine stores around the world that are employing everything from Zen-inspired minimalism to industrial chic that highlights not just the beauty of the bottle but also the unique story of the wine within.

In addition, with minimalist design come less-is-more descriptions. Once-complex explanations and ratings have been replaced with simplified, intuitive pointers. “Crisp.” “Bright.” “Bubbly.” “Smoky.” Simple as that.

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In Sao Paulo, winemaker Mistral tapped local architect Arthur Casas to turn a nondescript, tunnel-like space into a destination. Equally unique is the bottle display system, which presents each bottle label-up so you don’t feel that urge to handle the goods.

Wander into Vintry Fine Wines in New York’s Battery Park and you’ll be transported to the rolling hills and parallel lines of wine country as you walk meandering aisles and choose from cascading displays. According to Rogers Marvel Architects, who designed the space, placing educational materials within easy reach in a central display preserves the clarity and clean look of the bottles themselves.

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Once dubbed “Y stores” for the generation these stores hoped to attract and “stores with shtick” by former Wall Street Journal “Tastings” columnists Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher, these pioneering stores mean we can now start enjoying the full wine experience even before we get the bottle home. And that definitely raises our spirits.