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The Intersection of Wine and Design: The DWR Champagne Chair Contest™

champagne_chair.jpgIt's pretty rare for the two halves of my life to intersect. As some of you know, by day I run a design agency, while by night I write this blog. There's very little overlap between the worlds of design and wine, except perhaps in the realm of wine packaging design, which is fodder for an entirely different niche blog somewhere no doubt.

Other than occasionally bragging about the design work that my firm does that is wine related, I don't find many occasions to explore these two hemispheres of my brain in a joint fashion.

But every year around Christmas the furniture company Design Within Reach holds the Champagne Chair Contest™, and I get to indulge both parts of my personality, so to speak, if only as a spectator.

The contest is remarkably simple. Entrants are merely asked to construct a miniature chair using only the materials from two champagne bottles, minus the glass, and glue. No other adhesives, paint or tape are allowed. The final chair cannot measure more than four inches in any dimension.

What people manage to produce using these simple materials are nothing short of extraordinary. Here are a coupe of links to a few images of 2007's winners and 2008's winners. Every year I'm blown away by what people come up with. The results are the most creative things I've ever seen done with wine corks.

So if you're design inclined, or simply find yourself with a little extra time, an Xacto knife, and some SuperGlue over the holidays, you should take a crack at it. Hell, at the very least it's an excuse to empty a couple more bottles of Champagne, and you can brag about how green you are, what with the fact that you're making furniture out of recycled materials.

More details including how to enter are available at the official Champagne Chair Contest™ web site. The deadline for entries is January 9th, 2009.

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Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson The World's Greatest Wine Estates by Robert M. Parker, Jr.