Getty Villa’s New Wine, Lecture Series Is Worth Braving PCH

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As if a visit to the J. Paul Getty Museum’s Getty Villa property wasn’t quite interesting or enriching enough, the museum has announced a new series dubbed “Bacchus Uncorked,” pairing together two of the greatest human treasures ever: art and wine.

Experts in archaeology, classical history, literature and science will lead talks about wine cultivation and drinking practices, followed by a sommelier-led wine tasting by certified sommelier and professor of wine studies, Mark Botieff.

“Each Getty Villa guest will learn about contemporary research on ancient wine and culture, taste geographically-derived wine, and savor the art of antiquity at the Villa that complements the two evenings’ themed presentations,” Botieff explains. “We have meticulously curated wine grapes and styles that have been grown, fermented, and consumed in respective regions for hundreds of years. These wines have been chosen to enhance the truth behind the discovery of winemaking and consumption. ‘In wine there is truth’, Roman philosopher Pliny the elder once said.”

Wines are intended to reflect the themes of the respective talks. During the inaugural week that begins on Saturday, “We’ll travel ‘with’ Bacchus and serve a fresh and crisp white wine from Greece, a Chianti Classico from Tuscany (a wine region that dates back to the Etruscans in 8th century B.C.), a Piedmont red from the same town as Barolo (an area of Gaul occupied by tribal Celtic winemakers), and a syrah-based red blend from southern France,” Botieff says. “The following week, all wines served will be from France. We will serve four wines at each program, plus a Roman-inspired menu of appetizers. We look forward to incorporating local wines at future programs.”

The first event kicks off this Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and all programs in July are intended to complement the exhibition Ancient Luxury and the Roman Silver Treasure from Berthouville, which is on view through August 17 at the Villa.

Bacchus Uncorked July events:

Event: Travels with Bacchus: How an Enigmatic Wine-God Came to France

When: Saturday, July 11 from 5:30–8:00 p.m in the auditorium and cafe terrace at Getty Villa.

Admission: $60 advance ticket required. Includes lecture, wine tasting reception, and parking.

Details: The ancients believed that it was the wine-god Bacchus—or to the Greeks, Dionysos—who first introduced the fruit of the vine and its fermented juice to humans. He traveled extensively from east to west, sharing his gift to all who would accept him. Join noted classicist and culinary historian Albert Leonard, Jr., as he sheds light on the early history of wine through ancient literature and modern archaeological evidence, and tracks Bacchus on his epic journey throughout the Mediterranean world. Following his talk, enjoy a reception and wine tasting led by certified sommelier Mark Botieff in the picturesque outdoor setting of the Getty Villa.

 

Event: Vinum, Vidi, Vici: Wine, Culture, and Colonialism in Ancient Gaul

When: Saturday, July 18 from 5:30–8:00 p.m. in the auditorium and cafe terrace at Getty Villa.

Admission: $60 advance ticket required. Includes lecture, wine tasting reception, and parking.

Details: While France is known for its fine wine, it was the Etruscans in the 7th century B.C. who first introduced the fermented beverage to ancient Gaul, forever changing the region. Anthropologist Michael Dietler takes a look at the role wine and viniculture played in

transforming the cultural, social, and commercial landscape that would become modern France. The luxurious Roman silver wine vessels unearthed at Berthouville in northern France, which are currently on view at the Getty Villa, helps deepen our understanding of the people who acquired and used them. After the talk, enjoy the summer evening with a reception and wine tasting led by certified sommelier Mark Botieff.  Reserve a ticket at www.getty.edu.

The Getty Villa, 17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades, California, 310-440-7300

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