The Wine Museum in Barolo
I had expected a nice, nerdy experience from my visit to the wine museum in Barolo, but was surprised to find full blown family entertainment.
Sandwiched between two Italian school classes, I started to realize that the Wine Museum in Barolo – also called WI.MU – might not be an ordinary, run-of-the-mill Italian wine museum. Instead of focusing on soil, grape varieties and fermentation, the Swiss architect François Confino, who’s also designed Turin’s Cinema and Car Museums, takes you on a sensory tour through the history of wine in nature, art, cooking, cinema, music, literature, myth and traditions.
Paintings and Pop Songs
Along the way you see fancy multimedia effects, exhibits made to be touched and tampered with, ingenious machinery and cabinet curiosities.
There are power point paintings by Chagall, Caravaggio and Matisse. Famous posters and scenes from Dionysian films like Barbettes Feast, French Kiss, Dracula, and Notorious that illustrate the rituals of wine drinking in our time. And soft chairs where you can sit and listen to pop songs like ‘Red Red Wine’, ‘Summer Wine’ and ‘Champagne Supernova’ while on-screen graphics blink in time with the rhythm.
There are three storeys of sensory overload in blackened rooms, and although we had three very knowledgeable and able guides, I was relieved to reach the basement shop, where daylight seeped in. WI.MU. offers an intoxicating experience – though not from wine. So if you go to visit, do bring the kids. They’ll love a museum that zaps through history faster than a remote control. And teh wine museum in Barolo is just one of many attractions in the area.
Italian Notes was a guest of #BITEG and the Piedmont Tourist Board but opinions and mistakes are my own.