Painting in the Air

Chris Woodyard joined Charles Communications Associates as an intern this fall. In January, he departs to pursue his dream and study Music Theory.   We’ve so enjoyed his original approach, energy and creativity on our team and are happy to share his take on wine appreciation from the perspective of a painter and a musician.   We love new ways of learning and love to embrace the Buddhist philosophy of always having a Beginner’s Mind when approaching something new or even familiar. We wish Chris the best, and please enjoy the canvas he has painted for you.

Cheers,  Kimberly Noelle Charles, Founder & President Charles Communications Associates 

Wine is one of the most delicious extravagances we can ever partake in. Letting the wine dance on the tip of our tongue to the roof of our mouth is what makes drinking it so poetic. Each wine tells a tasty story of where it came from, how it was fermented and aged and the signature of its creator. When I drink wine, certain colors swirl through my mind, wrapping me in warmth and happiness. If we could see the colors magically paint in the air as we are enjoying our wine, what would we see? What would our mental canvas look like when we drink a Tempranillo or an Albarino? Would it look surreal? Abstract? Or look like an Andy Warhol work? The opportunities are endless when your tongue is the paintbrush and your mind is the easel. I took into consideration a few of my favorite wines and am happy to share here what I mentally see when I drink them.  

 Photo Courtesy of UART

Photo Courtesy of UART

Primarily, I will break down some white varietals. I will first start off with Chardonnay. Chardonnays as we know is the top selling wine in the U.S. market. Some Chardonnays that I like exhibit strong citrus flavors, and I can imagine an Expressionist painting of a blue sky with soft clouds.  For me, drinking Chardonnay promotes relaxation, less analysis. 

Sauvignon Blanc is also one of my favorite white wines due to its lighter taste profile and generally higher acidity.  What comes to mind when drinking this wine is an Impressionist painting of a flower. The herbal flavors frolic like a ray of sunshine that’s pierced through gatherine clouds of fruit and nature. The white wine paints a compelling story of colors. 

My last white varietal is Riesling, which goes well with so many foods. What my mind paints when drinking this delicious wine is a botanical illustration of a tree. I imagine a fine architecture, which is in this case acidity, supporting the leaves and fruit on a tree, providing a framework and seamlessly integrating with the softer aromas and flavors of the variety. 

Red wines also have their own story to tell.  One of my favorite red wines is Cabernet Sauvignon. Its flavor can best be described as dense, expressive and savory tasting of black cherries and earthiness. What triggers my mind when drinking this wine is a Realism painting of dark purple birds sleeping in a tree. The earthiness and rich flavor of the wine brings out browns and greens that can be detected abstractly on the palate.

Another more commonly found red wine would be Merlot. Again, generally speaking, since wines represent a spectrum of style, it has a smoother finish with a strong fruit component.   What comes to mind when drinking this wine is an Abstract art form of diverse colors and flavors. The flavors come alive and envelop the wine taster in an array of hues and saturations.  

 Photo Courtesy of Pinterest

Photo Courtesy of Pinterest

Last on the list is the tranquil Pinot Noir with its subtle taste and exquisite beauty. The colors that run through my mind when I drink this are light colors like yellow and lavender that make an almost dreamy, surrealist painting. The fruity sensory experience and crisp acidity brings to mind a portrait of a beach on a calm, sunny day. Who knew red wines could evoke summer so easily? 

Wines (both red and white) are a lot like people or books, the more time you spend with them, the more you learn and discover about them. Both red and white wines have their own personality that speak in waves of colors. As a musician, I use a different sensory toolkit to appreciate and understand wine as I learn more about it.  I love the amazing mental paintings that come to mind when enjoyed.  Try using a whole new paradigm for wine appreciation by closing your eyes and imagining a work of art, inspired by color, texture, atmosphere.   You might surprise yourself.

Chris Woodyard

All the Swirl is a collections of thoughts and opinions assembled by the staff and industry friends of Charles Communications Associates, a marketing communications firm with its headquarters in San Francisco, California. We invite you to explore more about our company and clients by visiting