gifts for the wine curious: metro wine maps

When I saw ‘the improvised life’s recent post about christopher niemann’s fab color-tiled bathrooms, I immediately thought of the Metro Wine Map of France, created by architectural historian and wine buff Dr. David Gissen, which was introduced this past summer by De Long, a favorite resource of mine for beautiful wine region maps and clever viticultural charts.

I love how it riffs on the classic city subway map, and neatly organizes the mind-numbing number French wine regions and their myriad subregions, shown clearly in their relative positions. It also features major grape varieties shown in context with their corresponding appellations (think: place names, i.e. Rhone, Condrieu, St-Joseph), as well as major geographical features and architectural landmarks, too.

paris metro map wine

I first discovered the work of husband and wife team of Deborah and Steve De Long when they created their Wine Grape Varietal Table poster about five years ago.

grape varietal chart

The De Long’s created this brilliant play on the Periodic Table of Elements as an expression of their love of both wine and design, as they are visual people by trade: Deborah is a home fashion designer; Steve is an architect. The table was a work in progress that took shape while they tasted wines from all over the globe. It helped them navigate the overwhelming world of wine grape varieties.

grape varietal chart

It is a perfect gift for a wine enthusiast because its color gradations help make sense of the hierarchy of grapes; their colors convey their weight and potential complexity. An accompanying reference book is available, too, “The Wine and Grape Indexes,” that’s amazingly comprehensive.

For the past couple of years they have introduced terrific wine maps of France, Italy, Spain/Portugal and California. They are as beautiful as they are informative.

I have nearly all of them framed and hung in my office (you can buy them framed from De Long, too). The Metro Map of France costs $24.95, while all of the classic maps are $29.95. The Wine Grape Varietal Table is $25 ($35 if you want the accompany reference, which I think is a great idea).

Wine Map of California

De Long is offering readers of ‘theimprovisedlife’ a promo code that will deduct 25% off all orders store-wide until the end of the year.  Simply enter the word “improv” (all lower case) at check out where you can add a “Discount Code.”

Anthony Giglio

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