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12.09.2013

Urban Renewal Through Wine

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Cities all over the world flounder in various states of decay, as municipal and regional governments go bankrupt, or at the very least fall on hard times. Residents watch their neighborhoods slowly drain of the life they once held, as windows are boarded up and families move away towards better prospects.

Every politician and pundit has an opinion about the cause, and almost none of them agree. Dealing with such problems has become a battleground for ideologies.

Let's allow the radio personalities and the politicians to continue their verbal flailing, and let's instead get to work on making the world's cities more habitable. Let's put a stop to urban decay.

How? With wine.

I know. You're sitting there in front of your screen asking, "How on Earth can we stop this with wine?"

It's simple, really. And credit must be given where credit is due: the lovely citizens that make up the town council of Bath, England.

Faced with the shuttering of one of their greatest public goods, they rallied. When budgets could no longer support the existence of their public toilets, they found another way.

They're just turning them into wine bars.

Yes that's right, once a public loo, now a proper wine bar. Utter genius.

Imagine what this approach could do to a city like Detroit. The possibilities are endless, and the upsides are too numerous to count.

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Jails, train yards, warehouses, shipyards, churches, apartment blocks, abandoned strip malls -- all transformed into a world full of wine bars.

I get goosebumps just thinking about it.

Image of inner city decay courtesy of Bigstock.

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Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson Wine Grapes The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson to cork or not to cork by George Taber reading between the vines by Terry Theise 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 Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud