Exhibitions: Italy's Barolo wine museum

Fri Oct 1, 2010 9:21am EDT
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By Svetlana Kovalyova

BAROLO, Italy (Reuters Life!) - When you walk up the stairs of the imposing medieval castle which now houses a new wine museum in the picturesque Italian town of Barolo, you don't need to worry about the prospect of monotonous lectures on the history of winemaking.

You are going to have fun, its creator says.

"Wine has a quality to bring people together, it has a convivial dimension," said Francois Confino, the Swiss-born museum and exhibition designer.

"The fact of getting a little tipsy provokes something in the mind that makes people feel well together and I hope this is translated here somehow," he told Reuters at the museum opening.

Visitors are encouraged to play with many of the exhibits: peddle a merry-go-round which represents changing seasons or set in motion old-style "teatrini" -- mobile doll theatres where scenes related to wine are enacted.

Music accompanies visitors as they walk through 25 rooms of the museum -- from Antonio Vivaldi's Four Seasons to modern songs celebrating wine to which a special room is dedicated.

In another room, with leather club chairs, velvet curtains and movie posters on the walls, clips are running of films inspired by wine, such as "Sideways" and "A Good Year."

The full-body barolo red wine has been praised as "the wine of kings and the king of wines" since the mid 19th century when production techniques were improved to create the modern wine, which has an intense complex bouquet with clear notes of violet and vanilla.   Continued...

<p>A sommelier pours a glass of wine at the Barolo wine museum in Barolo, about 70km (43 miles) south of Turin, September 12, 2010. REUTERS/Paolo Bona</p>