Wine and Art: the Perfect Pairing

Both wine and art derive from very colorful and intimately connected worlds. We believe, wine can be viewed through the same lens as a painting or a sculpture or even a photograph. All are creative expressions. Winemakers are given sun, soil, and grapes but their canvas remains blank until they begin their work of tasting, blending, aging, and so on. The choices made by the winemaker will ultimately determine the character and style of a wine and how we are meant to experience it. It evokes feelings, emotions, and memories when consumed. That’s art.

We are exploring the intersection of wine and art, by pairing each of our wines with works of art that appear within the walls of the Frank Family tasting room and at Rich and Leslie Frank’s home on Winston Hill. Featuring artists from around the world, each piece is as unique and interpretive as the wine alongside it.

Art Pairing: James Kennedy; Acrylic polymer on incised masonite

There is a clear structure in this piece by James Kennedy. His paintings convey a sort of organized chaos. Like a great glass of RHF Cabernet, it’s the form and structure that keeps the beauty of flavor intact. The pale blue and taupe hues of this painting are representative of the duality of fruit and oak in the glass. The distinctive lines formed within the painting hold those colors in place and provide balance and harmony.

Wine Pairings

Calistoga Cabernet Sauvignon, Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon, RHF Cabernet Sauvignon

Art Pairing: Michael McDermott; 2021/2022 Encaustic, Beeswax, Wax Crayon on Birch Wood

This piece exhibits an intriguing balance of form, shape, and light. When brought together on the canvas, these abstract components create a cohesive expression. Similarly, Todd Graff not only strives to bring the broad spectrum of flavors found in Frank Family’s estate-driven red wines to the glass, but to do so in a way that is balanced and cohesive, much like this painting.

Wine Pairings

Chiles Valley Zinfandel, The Riley Red Blend, Winston Hill Bordeaux Blend, S&J Vineyard Petite Sirah

Art Pairing: Tubay Yabut; “Duomo di Milano,” 2019

Tubay’s photography often displays studies in contrast, and this photo of the Duomo Cathedral in Milan is a fabulous example of his style, where light and dark, forefront and backdrop create a contrast that naturally draws the eye in. Frank Family Chardonnays bring a similar contrast, where the bright and vibrant fruit tones of the grape are contrasted by the warmer rich undertones that come to the wine from the oak.

Wine Pairings

Late Harvest Chardonnay, Lewis Vineyard Chardonnay

Art Pairing: John Dipaolo, “The One with Red;” oil on canvas

This painting bursts with an array of color – vibrant hues of red, yellow, and blue on a mostly white background. Energetic and engaging, this painting breathes fresh life into the room, much like Frank Family’s sparkling wines bring thier energy and array of bright and vivacious flavors into a glass. These pops of color are reminiscent of the fresh effervescence of our sparkling wines-racy, spirited bubbles that dance across the palate the same way these colors leap from the canvas.

Wine Pairings

Blanc de Blancs, Brut Rosé, Lady Edythe Reserve Brut, Rouge

Art Pairing: Jill Greenberg, “Monkey” 2002

The photography of Jill Greenberg captures its subjects with their guards down-playful, honest, and raw. It’s in this vulnerable state that the true personality of the subject emerges, and we see the subject in a new light. Similarly, our Napa Valley collection of wines strives to showcase the pure, unguarded essence of the fruit from the vineyard. Minimal intervention in the cellar puts our incredible Napa fruit on display, at once both incredibly familiar, but also brand new, in a light you may have never seen before.

Wine Pairings

Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Carneros Chardonnay, Carneros Pinot Noir

Art Pairing: Virut Panchabuse; “Smoking Girl”

This is a really striking piece of art because from afar it seems like a standard portrait, but up close the use of mixed media magazine collage to deliver complex and engaging color and texture. This is such a wonderful metaphor for Frank Family wines as a whole – recognizable from the outset as the wine you know and love, but the true nature of these wines remains in the details that can only be seen upon closer examination.

Wine Pairings

Blanc de Blancs, Brut Rosé, Lady Edythe Reserve Brut, Rouge