Classic Wine and Film Pairings

Photo by Aaron Graubart

Whether producing a wine or a film, both require a visionary leader, creativity, technical know-how and a boatload of money. But the most profound link between the two art forms is how one sip or a single scene can whisk your senses away to a wholly different time and place. That鈥檚 powerful stuff. Welcome to our celebration of one of life鈥檚 greatest pairings.

The Genre:聽Western

Essence:聽Uniquely American style that started modest and maligned, but spread globally; usually a singular hero conquering harshness from both enemies and nature; very accessible, but with complexity underneath.

Watch:Stagecoach聽(1939);聽High Noon聽(1952);聽The Good, The Bad and The Ugly聽(1966);聽McCabe & Mrs. Miller聽(1971);聽Unforgiven聽(1992)

The Wine:聽California Zinfandel

Essence:聽As big, rugged, boozy and all-American as John Wayne. Zinfandel, a domestic expression of the Primitivo grape, has the spice and grit of a good Western. With their great power and complexity, these pours have earned聽a place on the world聽wine stage.

Drink:聽A. Rafanelli 2012 Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley)

The Genre:聽Romantic Comedy

Essence:聽Fun and juicy;聽seek to enhance feelings of affection and compassion; lighthearted, captivating tales of personal relationships; happy endings guaranteed.

Watch:The Seven Year Itch聽(1955);聽When Harry Met Sally聽(1989);聽Groundhog Day聽(1993);聽Notting Hill聽(1999);聽Enough Said聽(2013)

The Wine:聽Cru Beaujolais

Essence:聽Juicy-fruity Beaujolais goes down easy, but don鈥檛 mistake it for shallow. Wines made in the Cru regions can show serious complexity, and聽Moulin-脿-Vent, in particular, is as enduring as聽Sleepless in Seattle.

Drink:聽Ch芒teau des Jacques 2012聽Moulin-脿-Vent

The Genre:聽Science Fiction

Essence:聽Usually set in the future or in fantasy environments that defy conventional science; use inexplicable phenomena to plumb psychological depths; many have proven prescient.

Watch:La Jet茅e聽(1962);聽2001: A Space Odyssey聽(1968);聽Blade Runner聽(1982);聽Children of Men聽(2006);Under the Skin聽(2013)

The Wine:聽Biodynamic South African Sauvignon Blanc

Essence:聽Conventional science may have a hard time explaining the holistic, astro-spiritual tenets of biodynamic farming, but the often-delicious wines have won generations of fans, and turned skeptics into believers.

Drink:聽Reyneke 2013 Reserve Sauvignon Blanc (Stellenbosch)

The Film Genre:聽Thriller

Essence: Meaty, exciting, tough but crowd-pleasing; has complex twists, big climaxes and often extravagant production; impact can be psychological or pure adrenaline

Watch:聽The French Connection聽(1971);聽Die Hard聽(1988);聽Cape Fear聽(1991);聽The Silence of the Lambs聽(1991;聽Kill Bill: Volume 1聽(2003)

The Wine:聽C么te-R么tie

Essence: The precipitous slopes of C么te-R么tie make for some of the wine world鈥檚 most dangerous harvests. The wines鈥攕picy and meaty, often with smoke, leather and a backbone of iron鈥攕eem to capture that thrill in a glass.

Drink:聽Vidal-Fleury 2010 Brune et Blonde (C么te-R么tie)

The Film Genre: Indie

Essence: Personal expressions not made for mass appeal; underdogs who achieve major impact with modest means; fresh and unexpected creations often made from deep-rooted elements

Watch:聽Stranger Than Paradise聽(1984);聽Happiness聽(1998);聽Being John聽Malkovich(1999);聽Lost in Translation聽(2003);聽Before Sunset聽(2004)

The Wine Style:聽Austrian聽Blaufr盲nkisch

Essence: Individuality is a hallmark of tannic, spicy聽Blaufr盲nkisch聽and other decidedly non-mainstream wines of Austria. Like Wes Anderson and the聽Coen聽brothers, independent estate-owned producers like Heinrich have retained their distinct character even as their popularity has taken off.

Drink:聽Heinrich 2012聽Blaufr盲nkisch聽(Burgenland)

The Genre:聽Film Noir

Essence:聽Stylized and sexy, tense and melodramatic; characters acerbic and usually smoking; once considered old-fashioned, its sexy iconic examples are influential classics.

Watch:聽The Big Sleep聽(1946);聽The Third Man聽(1949);聽Kiss Me Deadly聽(1955);聽Blood Simple聽(1984);聽Mulholland Drive聽(2001)

The Wine:聽Aged Barolo

Essence:聽With its classic nose of tar, dried roses and a whiff of tobacco鈥攁nd a garnet color fading to sepia with each passing year鈥攁ged Barolo exudes drama and elegance.

Drink:聽Cavallotto 2007 Bricco Boschis Vigna San Giuseppe Riserva (Barolo)

Published on November 27, 2015
Topics: Celebrity WInePairingsWine and Film