Archive for Design


Posted in Wine and Design with tags , , on May 28, 2010 by jponzi

Artecnica is a Los Angeles based design company that collaborates with the most established and emerging international designers to create inspiring decorative objects for the living environment.

Erico Bressan in 1986 co-founded artenica with Tahmineh Javanbakht. He is a native of Italy and an architect by trade, Bressan, he has spent many years as a computer electronic design engineer.   The focus of the business was architectural and interior design services for clients including Gianni Versace and Sebastian International. Bressan’s award-winning architectural work has recently extended to developing sustainable product design and architectural programs with foundations and design schools in the Dominican Republic, Brazil and California.

Tahmineh Javanbakht, an Iranian-born artist while American educated, has produced many commissioned paintings. She is a graduate of the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, where she has also taught experimental painting. Her designs have sold at specialty design and museum stores around the world. While collaborating with Enrico Bressan on several freelance projects, Artecnica was born. Javanbakht works and lives in Los Angeles.

One of Artenica’s most profound designers is Tord Boontje. He was born in the Netherlands and he studied industrial design at the Design Academy in Eindhoven  and then followed with his Masters for the Royal College of Art in London. Then Studio Tord Boontje was founded in 1996. He has worked on countless projects and has had group as well as solo exhibits in many museums mainly in Milan, London and New York.

Transglass is produced in Guatemala from recycled and reused wine and beer bottles. This environmentally friendly product is a great addition to any dining or coffee table, and makes the perfect gift. Transglass has been accepted into the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

“The idea behind the collection is to use what we have. We take away, we appropriate, we transform. Hard, sharp, clean forms, original colours, as found within the bottles. We believe that Transglass is a glassware collection with a contemporary beauty that shows a positive attitude toward the environment.” – Emma Woffenden and Tord Boontje

Although his creations are permanently in the MOMA, the public can also purchase other models online at websites ranging from all the way to, a design consulting and retail firm.


Colors and Shapes of bottles

Posted in Wine and Design, Wine Production: Various types with tags , , , on May 27, 2010 by jponzi

Wine producers in Portugal, Italy, Spain, France, and Germany follow the tradition of their local areas in choosing the shape of bottle most appropriate for their wine.

Port Wine

  • Port, sherry, and Bordeaux varieties: straight-sided and high-shouldered with a pronounced punt. Port and sherry bottles may have a bulbous neck to collect any residue.
  • Burgundies and Rhône varieties: tall bottles with sloping shoulders and a smaller punt.
  • Rhine (also known as hock or hoch), Mosel, and Alsace varieties: narrow and tall with little or no punt.
  • Champagne and other sparkling wines: thick-walled and wide with a pronounced punt and sloping shoulders.
  • German wines from Franconia: the Bocksbeutel bottle.
  • The Chianti and some other Italian wines: the fiasco, a round-bottomed flask encased in a straw basket.

Burgundy Wine

Alsace Wine


Bocksbeutel Wine


Many North and South American, South African, and Australasian wine producers select the bottle shape they wish to associate their wines with. For instance, a producer who believes their wine is similar to Bordeaux may choose to bottle his wine in Bordeaux-style bottles.

The home wine maker may use any bottle, as the shape of the bottle does not affect the taste of the finished product. The sole exception is in producing sparkling wine where thicker-walled bottles should be used to handle the excess pressure.

The traditional colours used for wine bottles are:

  • Bordeaux: dark green for reds, light green for dry whites, clear for sweet whites.
  • Burgundy and the Rhone: dark green.
  • Mosel and Alsace: dark to medium green, although some producers have traditionally used amber.
  • Rhine: amber, although some producers have traditionally used green.
  • Champagne: Usually dark to medium green. Rosé champagnes are usually a colorless or green.

Clear bottles have recently become popular with white wine producers in many countries, including Greece, Canada and New Zealand. Most red wine worldwide is still bottled in green glass.

A look at an Italian Vineyard: ANFRA

Posted in Wine Production: Various levels with tags , , , on May 10, 2010 by jponzi

Anfra is a family owned winery and is in Teramo province in the hills of Lands of Cerrano, in the city of Pineto,  between the coast of the Adriatic sea and the slopes of the “great pebble” (Gran Sasso D’Italia). The detailed micro-climate of  territory allows for the production of high quality grapes imminent destiny of producing great wines.

In the Anfra vineyards one finds themselves  wrap in a climate that is considered ideal, where the medium temperature goes from the 53,6° F to the 60,8° F, with periods of minim from 32° F to 46,4° F.

Anfra stress in their philosophy that they want to remain earthly. Thanks to this company the magic of a time lives again. This company has the ability to mix the present with the past, thus to succeed and exalt the contemporary, to the life of the world of today. In an increasingly mass-concentrated society, Anfra feels that their products want to be clear expression of a earth and an ideology. Anfra’s earth is Abruzzo, the region of the parks, the green heart of Italy, the emerald of the Mediterranean.

Recently Anfra has been recieving a lot of hype. They have been criticed and sampled by a variety of different magazines, publications and events. In this year alone they were featured in Vini d’itlaia-gamebero rosso, DUEMILAVINI 2010, Guida al vino quotidiano 2010,VINIBUONI d’Italia 2010,and Vini d’Italia 2010-L’espresso.

Anfra is a major company based on tradition, earth and family. Here one of the owners Francesco Savini gives us a deeper look at Anfra:

Also their advertising is very interesting for example:This past easter Anfra used this ad to attract people to buy more wine during Easter, proclaiming that they needed more chocolate… as we all know Chocolate is important at Easter, not only in Italy where chocolate eggs are a tradition, but around the world.

With this ad they were trying to appeal to the patriotism of their American consumers as well as any Europeans who felt effected by the twin Towers. This is also very symbolic because Anfra’s major wine and best seller Nero dei due mori… because Anfra is owned and run by two brothers with the help of their families and co-workers. These two brothers are very close and are passionate about the success of their vineyard.


Posted in Wine and Design with tags , , , on May 9, 2010 by jponzi

Since the mid-1990s, a number of wine brands have switched to alternative wine closuring materials such as synthetic plastic stoppers, screw-caps, or other closures. In some countries, screwcaps are often seen as a cheap alternative destined only for the low grade wines, however in Australia, the majority of non-sparkling wine production now uses these caps as a cork alternative. These alternatives have their own properties, some advantageous and some controversial. For example, it is argued that screw-tops are generally considered to offer a trichloroanisole (TCA) free seal by reduce the oxygen transfer rate to almost zero. TCA is one of the primary causes of cork taint in wine. However, in recent years major cork producers (Amorim, Álvaro Coelho & Irmãos, Cork Supply Group, and Oeneo) have developed methods that remove most TCA from natural wine corks. Natural cork stoppers are important because they allow oxygen to interact with wine for proper aging, and are best suited for bold red wines purchased with the intent to age.

So as mentioned above Australia and NEW ZEALAND HAVE CREATED A SCREW-CAP INITIATIVE.

International Screwcap Initiative is a non-profit making association that also offers a unique marketing opportunity to premium wine producers from around the world.

The key objectives include the following:

To encourage and facilitate the use of screw-cap wine seals by wine producers all around the world;

To provide a forum for gathering and disseminating business intelligence, and otherwise facilitating the exchange of ideas, opinions and contributions to further the use of screw-caps; and

To identify and develop business and project methodologies, and best practice in use, promotion and education of screw-cap wine seals.

Although it is mainly rooted in Australia and New Zealand there are Internation Screw-cap Initiative Members are around the world:

Why Screwcaps?

When Australian and New Zealand winemakers first decided to use screw-caps, they did so partly based on the extensive information that was available, but also as a result of the practical experience that fellow winemakers openly shared with them. Many winemakers had been conducting internal experiments for several years, therefore, samples with reasonable bottle age were available for tasting.

In addition to this, a series of trials were performed by both the University of Burgundy (1960s) and the Australian Wine Research Institute (1970s) which proved that  consecutive tastings from screwcaps were indeed a viable alternative to natural cork.

As a result, winemakers in both Australia and New Zealand decided that it was time to take the leap of faith that was necessary to get the ball rolling. As Michael Brajkovich MW, Chairman of the ISI points out, “At Kumeu River we were considering doing a proportion in screwcap and still having cork available for customers who wanted it. But then my brother Paul asked me if I was confident that the screwcap was significantly better. I said yes, and based on extensive tastings of aged Rieslings from Australia, I had no doubt that our wines would benefit over the long term as well. As a result, he decided to put everything under screwcap, and communicate with our customers that we are doing it because we knew that the wines would be better – and that has certainly proven to be the case.”

Brajkovich hits on a key point here – the decision to use screwcaps is one for the winemaker, not the marketeer. Winemakers who use screwcaps do so because it allows them to bottle their wines in optimum conditions, knowing that the airtight seal will guarantee that their wines arrive on the consumer’s tables in pristine condition.

As Tyson Stelzer, a prestigious wine critic in Australia, points out in his winemaking manual, Taming the Screw, the advantages of using screwcaps to seal wine bottles are numerous and may be summarised as follows:

No cork taint

No sporadic oxidation

Screwcaps avoid falvour modication- including scalping

Both red and whit ecan age with screwcaps

It’s a realiabel lonterm seal


Design and Wine Glasses

Posted in Wine and Design with tags , , on May 6, 2010 by jponzi

Kacper Hamilton, a designer created a new series of wine glasses that reflect the  seven  deadly sins. He studied at Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, London. His work has been published worldwide in Books, Magazines & Websites & exhibited in France, Italy, Spain & England.

These glasses are meant to be used with red wine and each glass encapsulates a sin, which is revealed through the ritual of drinking. Hamilton comments that” The ‘7 Deadly Glasses’ are about celebrating passion and encouraging the user to be sinful in a theatrical fashion.” The glasses are made in England, handmade  and are available upon request.

kouichi okamoto, ceo/designerkyouei design, has created a interesting wine decanter and glass in one. The design is entitled the glass tank. It is a design that allows its consumers to drink a lot.

The device consists of a bulb shaped container and a wide wine glass below. When the amount of wine in the glass decreases, a constant amount is poured from the tank into the glass. The glass never overflows because of the air and water pressure present in the design.

Kyouei design website:

Kyouesi design

1326-15 kusanagi shimizu-ku shizuoka city

Shizuoka 424-0886 japan

Innovation and low cost models

Posted in Wine and Design, Wine Production: Various levels with tags , , , on May 5, 2010 by jponzi

Crushpad, Michael Brill’s custom microcrush winery, recognizes that most people buy wines recommended to them by critics, wine experts, retailers, friends and even wineries. Therefore it started to offer samples of wines in TinyBottles, 50- and 100ml bottles at as little as 10% of the cost of a full bottle, to make it more practical for wineries to give customers a taste.

Brill, whose business is based in San Francisco with outposts in Napa and Bordeaux, points out the obvious: Boutique wineries are having a tough time. “I expect to see hundreds of boutique brands disappear in the next year or so,” he warns

The latest innovation from custom winemaking facility Crushpad is a new way to get their boutique wines into more hands. Their new TinyBottles come in sets of four, letting potential buyers taste several different wines for a LOWER COST, hopefully attracting those who might balk at spending $50 or more for an unfamiliar wine.

The new tasting kits are available on the site, a website that also includes videos and recommendations and sells wines from the various small vineyards. On Brixr a four bottle tasting pack sells for $29.95.

The bottles were developed for Crushpad customers but  Crushpad could also use the system for other wines include barrel samples or imports. Other applications include online tasting, retail or restaurant samples, in-flight wine tastings or review samples.

Crushpad can take wine from existing bottles or in bulk — even barrel samples or imports — and handles label modification and COLA approval as part of a package. Right now, it costs about $2.50 per bottle, but he expects this to drop by half during the next year, as volume builds. Shipping is typically $6 by UPS envelope

The wine can be offered in two-, four- or six-packs, allowing a winery to let wine club members and others taste before buying, or even try barrel samples for futures. The TinyBottles can be used for online, directed tastings. Some distributors are even considering them for retail and restaurant sampling; the present practice of opening 750ml bottles can be very wasteful. Airlines are also looking at them for in-flight wine tasting.

Magazines could sell packs of Top 10s to pair with their articles. Wineries also are looking at them to expand their samples for bloggers and others, though Brill acknowledges that the top reviewers will continue to want 750ml bottles. Brill emphasizes that the goal of the program is to help his customers who sell their wines through Crushpad Commerce, but he thinks the TinyBottles will be very popular.

Now that Crushpad has impletemented the use of Tiny bottles, a new company Tasting Room- has also recently unveiled their sample-sized wine bottle tasting kits. While Crushpad’s bottles are straight tubes the Tasting Room ones are mini wine bottles.

TastingRoom’s founder, Tim Bucher, says his format better preserves the wine and is more popular with consumers. His company spent a year developing the new, patent-pending T.A.S.T.E. Technology (Total Anaerobic Sample Transfer Environment) which preserves wine integrity. In this process wine is transferred from larger bottles into smaller bottles in a sealed, zero-oxygen chamber. It is anticipated that many other companies will follow this LOW COST model to not lose out on sales.


Posted in Wine and Design with tags , , , , , , on May 5, 2010 by jponzi

DIY: Designing and Printing Your Labels

Creating your own labels is inexpensive and fairly easy to do, with the right materials.

Assuming you want to create several labels at once instead of making them one at a time by hand (each 6 gallon batch of wine produces around 30 bottles-typicl wine kit), here are the items that you’ll need to make your own wine labels:

  • Computer
  • Printer
  • Plain/gummed paper or label stock
  • Software that supports graphics and labels
  • Scissors or paper cutter

Optional, Fancy Items

  • Scanner
  • Digital camera

Then if you haven’t picked pick up a package of label sheets for the printer you will need to go to a office supply store. Avery sells a large variety of different adhesive labels in various sizes for any type of project.

Purchasing Avery brand will actually come in handy when creating the labels as their website has hundreds of free templates you can use to create any label of your choice. Search through the many selections of label templates available, create your labels and then press print, using your label paper. They even have free software you can download if you wish to create your labels offline rather than on their website. you can find both templates and software on the Avery website.

With the Avery software you have many option such as: creating labels in color or in black & white, using fun and decorative texts, and uploading your own personal photo or graphic if you wish. The stock.xchg, a software program on the internet that  has thousands of royalty free images you can use for your own personal use.

As a final touch, you can use a permanent marker to sign your name on the label of each personalized bottle you create. Don’t forget to tie a ribbon around the neck of the wine bottle if it is to be given as a gift. Creating your own wine labels is lots of fun and a great opportunity to show YOUR CREATIVITY.
Here is a video to better explain your labeling opportunities:


Hilary a creative soul and bride to be decided to enter into a contest on; it is a website that was designed by Amanda who created the blog in 2008. The owner and founder of Ruffled started the company as site where brides and wedding planners could have ideas and inspirations for weddings specifically vintage weddings. Ruffled’s mission statement is: Ruffled inspires sophisticated creativity for your Wedding without any sacrifice. Fashion conscious sensibility combined with trendy attitude and vintage inspired romance reflects the spirit of today’s stylish bride.

Here Hilary sent in her Wine Bottle Centerpiece idea. Hilary commented “For my wedding, I will be painting the bottles all white, but I was inspired to try different colors for this project. It is probably the most inexpensive, eco-friendly way to turn something you have laying around your house into something unique and beautiful for your centerpieces or even your table at home!”
The following is instructions and materials needed to make this creation:

What you will need:

– wine bottles
– liquid soap
– alcohol swabs, rubbing alcohol, Goo Gone and/or hard dish brush
-spray paint
– quick drying high gloss white spray paint or white primer spray paint
– quick drying high gloss spray in whatever colors you desire
– old sheet, drop cloth or any sort of covering for the surface you will be painting on


Step 1: Submerge wine bottles in warm soapy water until labels easily come off (this can take anywhere from 10-20 minutes).

Step2: If you are having difficulty removing labels, try holding the bottles under warm water and use a hard dish brush to scrub off excess label/glue. I also find using alcohol or Goo Gone can help with this as well.

Step 3: Make sure soapy water is rinsed out of bottles and let bottles dry.

Step 4: Cover hard surface outside (away from anything you might damage with spray paint) and place bottles on the surface. Spray one thin, even coat of white spray paint or primer on each bottle (note, this does not have to be perfect). Make sure you are not holding the can too close to the bottle or the paint will get on too thick and start to drip. Let dry for about 15 minutes, then you can test the bottles by touching them lightly; if the paint is sticky they need more time to dry.

Step 5: Repeat this step about three more times with the colors you choose. If you are having trouble getting the paint on evenly, put your finger into the bottle opening to pick it up so you can see the bottle at a better angle and spray where needed. Because you are doing several coats, it will not be completely even until your final coat. If you need to do more than three or four coats, that is fine, just make sure they are not too thick.

Step 6: Pick up bottle and spray around the bottom edge so no glass is showing through. Then do a quick spray at the very top of the bottle. Leave bottles out to dry in a shaded place.