Through the Grapevine

Image: Frédéric Zajderman

Image: Frédéric Zajderman

Watch the trailer here.

Can you experience a wine with all your senses?

In Through the Grapevine every performance is made in response to the wine you are drinking as you watch the show. This is a unique evening of humour, music and physical surprise. No previous knowledge of theatre or of wine is required — but be prepared to be thoroughly entertained as you taste them both together.

‘Grapevine is a charming, surprising and fruity little number, that cleverly combines wine and performance in a way never seen before. As you sip and taste, moments of action and interaction emerge and surround you. This is performance for all the senses!’

I have the pleasure of working for Through the Grapevine with its founder Krysta Dennis. The company provides performed wine tastings across the UK, and will soon expand to take in the US. Together with Krysta I developed the performance methodology through which these performed tastings are made, and continue to investigate its potential application in various fields of research and performance.

Book a performed wine tasting for your event, or attend one of our performed wine tastings.
We are versatile in terms of space and can perform in bars, restaurants, wine shops, vineyards, and private functions as well as in theatrical venues. We ask only that there be a table or bar space large enough to accommodate six wines glasses in front of each audience member.
To book and for further details email: throughthegrapevinetastings@gmail.com

Recent performances of Through The Grapevine:

Thursday 23 – Friday 24 October 2014 as part of the Canterbury Festival.
Venue: Mrs Jones’ Kitchen. [Click here for maps]
Time: 7.30pm

Through the Grapevine

 

Through the Grapevine: What people are saying

‘I would do this again in a heartbeat’

‘Through the Grapevine is a playful sensory immersion, that took me all the way back to the terroir.’ -Jarrod Cuffe, mixologist and event coordinator

‘You don’t often taste a performance!’

‘I am leaving with the idea that wine is much more than taste- it involves much more. It has BODY, and there it relates to performance, it is live.’

‘It was an encounter with me, my senses, my emotions. It was rediscovering , it was allowing me to perceive in a new way. It was a moment of peace and elegance.’

Through the Grapevine was born on a pleasant afternoon over a bottle of Vignoble Guillaume’s 2010 Pinot Noir. Discussing the wine, we noted that wine is perhaps the only inanimate thing that, like humans, has a memory. It remembers where it came from, what was done to it, how old it is and where it has spent most of its life. It has so many stories to tell you, if you can just speak its language.

Image: Frédéric Zajderman

Image: Frédéric Zajderman

Our method

To develop a performed tasting, we begin, of course, by tasting some wine. We take notes that range from traditional wine tasting notes to movement, sound, interactions, drawings, anything! Next, we share our notes with one another and compare and contrast. Though our opinions of the wines are often quite diverse, our notes are usually very consistent with one another. We take the elements of the notes that we find most intriguing, and devise a performance through these notes to be performed while the audience drinks the wine. We do not seek to personify the wine, nor to comprehensively describe its nature and structure, but rather to embody a number of its most significant characteristics.

Theatre of Wine, London. Image: Krysta Dennis

Theatre of Wine, London. Image: Krysta Dennis

Taste as an Aesthetic Experience

Aquinas distinguished the cognitive senses of sight and hearing from the non-cognitive senses of taste and smell, arguing that only the first could provide the perception of beauty. Hegel emphasizes the distinction between the enjoyments of the palate and the aesthetic experience, because the latter provides the embodiment of an idea. Steven Poole rails against chefs like Heston Blumenthal and Ferran Adria creating ‘works of art’ meant to be eaten. What gives?  Why this bias against the senses of taste and smell? Surely the enjoyment of these senses too can be an aesthetic experience?

We not only believe that taste and smell can provide aesthetic experience, but we also believe that when combined with the senses of sight and hearing, they can create a truly beautiful multisensory experience.

Through the Grapevine (2014) Image: Frédéric Zajderman

Through the Grapevine (2014) Image: Frédéric Zajderman

Through the Grapevine (2014) Image: Frédéric Zajderman

Through the Grapevine (2014) Image: Frédéric Zajderman

Through the Grapevine (2014) Image: Frédéric Zajderman

Through the Grapevine (2014) Image: Frédéric Zajderman

Through the Grapevine

Through the Grapevine (2014) Image: Frédéric Zajderman

Through the Grapevine

Through the Grapevine (2014) Image: Frédéric Zajderman