Next week in Belgium, wine lovers will be given the rare chance to taste wines where the sun don’t shine. Yes, the wines of Emilia-Romagna will flow in the aptly named CasAnus Hotel, which is a hotel shaped to look like a giant butthole marooned in the middle of a field. The place itself is the brainchild of Dutch artist Joep Van Lieshout, and it’s a massive sculpture of the human intestine, the last part of it, with bulging veins and all.
CasAnus is first and foremost a piece of art, I’m told, to be admired from the outside. But you can also stay overnight if you’ve always dreamed of spending the night in a butthole, which I guess makes it a hotel. There is a double bed and a shower, and of course, it wouldn’t be a proper anus without central heating. CasAnus is located in the Verbeke Foundation Sculpture Park, which hosts over 20,000 visitors each year. The owners, art collectors Geert and Carla Verbeke-Lens, say the exhibition space is not meant to be an “oasis.” No shit.
The tasting is intended for wine and art lovers alike. According to Alice Bown, the event's spokesperson, “after ten years of organizing ‘classic’ wine tastings, often very boring for both wine producers and visitors, we started thinking of different ways of experimenting with wines.” Indeed, wine geeks being overly analytical can be extremely dull, and I imagine the location will help put the anal in analytical and spice things up for sure. I can only imagine the conversation; full-bodied, cherry, tobacco and a hint of…culo? The venue itself should take the art of “nosing” to another level. Just don’t pour anything too barnyard-y, please.
I was too scared to ask how and where the visitors exit the building, but I think I have an idea. To tell you the truth, there is something oddly fascinating about the structure. Ever since I saw the movie Innerspace as a kid, a journey through an entire human being has always intrigued me. And if I can do it while also sipping enough wine to possibly be ok with spending the night in a giant asshole? Sounds like an adventure. Sign me up!