Avengers: Infinity War is almost here, and the Wine Enthusiast office is not immune to the Marvel blockbuster’s outsized hype. A casual lunch between the W.E. staff’s biggest comic-loving nerds turned into a sweeping discussion of what the perfect wine would be for each member of the superhero team, a debate that got so heated, pads and pens were produced, diligent notes were taken, and both diagrams and battle lines were drawn.
Captain America / Steve Rogers
Having been suspended in a block of ice in the North Atlantic since the 1940s, Captain America is the leader of the Avengers as well as its oldest member, save Bucky. Representing the best of humanity in both physique and character, Cap deserves one of the finest wines of his era—a 1941 Château Cheval Blanc. Like Cap, this wine is a legend that’s even better today than when it was first stored.
Iron Man / Tony Stark
De facto co-leader of the Avengers, second-richest man in the Marvel universe (sorry Tony, but T’Challa has you beat there) and notorious party boy, we assumed Iron Man would lean towards a bold wine with a fair amount of heat that would show off his status, while not skimping on quality. In one of the few unanimous agreements, we all easily imagined a Penfolds Grange vertical, from 1951 on, occupying space in the billionaire playboy philanthropist’s cellar.
Black Panther / T’Challa
The monarch of Wakanda, a secretive, technologically advanced African nation, also wears the mantle of the Black Panther, a title passed down through the generations to the protector of the land. Imbued with super strength, speed and a net worth that would make Bruce Wayne blush, we see King T’Challa sipping on high-altitude wines from South Africa’s Cederberg, itself somewhat isolated in a rugged mountainous terrain roughly 150 miles north of Cape Town. Also, because he’s a bit less dour than a certain man dressed as a bat, we also think T’Challa might enjoy this delicious Moselland Riesling, complete with a black-cat-shaped bottle.
Thor / Son of Odin
We know that Thor, the God of Thunder, loves a good beer. But having recently taken his father’s mantle as the King of Asgard, we’d like to think he is ready to step up and drink like a true god, giving mead a try. Having spent time on Earth throughout his exile, Thor would be diving deep into the America craft mead scene.
Spider-Man / Peter Parker
While the current iteration of Spider-Man is still a teenager (maybe stick to mocktails for now, Parker), there isn’t a wine more fitting of a kid from Queens who’s been bitten by a radioactive spider than Hudson-Chatham’s Baco Noir. Made from hybrid grapes grown in the Hudson River Valley, the 2014 vintage will drink well through 2022, when our young web-slinger will be of legal drinking age. And at an affordable retail price of $20 per bottle, it’s a fitting choice for someone struggling to make rent while working as a freelance photographer for the Daily Bugle.
The Hulk / Bruce Banner
A brilliant scientist bombarded by what should have been a lethal dose of gamma radiation, mild-mannered Bruce Banner unwittingly became the endlessly destructive force known as The Hulk. He’s big, he’s green, and he’s always angry. We couldn’t think of a better match for such a volatile antihero as Noisy Water Winery’s Besito Caliente (Green Chile Wine), a New Mexican bottling infused with Hatch green chiles, imparting a green hue and a healthy kick of spice to the off-dry white wine.
The Guardians of the Galaxy
It’s hard to look at this ragtag team made up of a half-human 1980s-obsessed pirate, a green-skinned assassin, a sentient tree, a hyper-literal brawler, a young empathetic insectoid and a gun-toting raccoon, and not think “field blend.” In keeping with this group of semi-reformed prisoner’s general vibe, we’re choosing Dirty and Rowdy’s 2016 Familiar Blanc, made with native fermentation and described by the winery as “[pulling] up to your pallet like a late ’80s white limousine.” The official tech sheet continues to describe, “flavors of lime oil, flint, orange and rock—or in summer terms, the wine equivalent of a thirst-quenching, top-shelf margarita.” We believe Star Lord and company would approve.
Doctor Strange / Stephen Strange
A brilliant narcissistic New York neurosurgeon whose hands become crippled in a car accident (and another reason not to play with your phone while driving), Steven Strange travels the world looking to cure his condition before encountering the Ancient One and going down the path towards becoming the Sorcerer Supreme. Still, we’ve got a good feeling Strange would keep it local with his wine choice, and give a nod to another of the Empire State’s most famous doctors with Dr. Konstantin Frank’s Lena Reserve Red.
Black Widow / Natasha Romanoff
This former Soviet super-spy has spent her fair share of time working covert operations in and around Eastern Europe, and probably developed an affinity for the wines of the region. Sweet upfront, but complex and a little dangerous, Romanoff could easily be seen enjoying heavily botrytized wine like Oremus’ Late Harvest Tokaji, because nothing says Black Widow like restrained acidity.
White Wolf fka Winter Soldier / “Bucky” Barnes
The yin to Captain America’s yang, Bucky was a childhood friend of Steve Rogers before both seemingly died while saving the Earth from HYDRA during World War II. Unbeknownst to Cap and the Avengers, Bucky was recovered by the Russians, fitted with a bionic arm, brainwashed, kept underground in cryogenic status and periodically thawed to complete assassination missions for HYDRA. Saved by Captain America, Barnes is hiding out in Wakanda while being deprogrammed and fully taking on his new White Wolf persona. Given his own history of being stuck in a cellar, we think it’s fitting for Bucky to be drinking Mvemve Raats’s 2015 MR de Compostella Red, a South African Cellar Selection that will drink well through 2033.
Falcon / Samuel Thomas “Sam” Wilson
A former United States Air Force Pararescue specialist, Sam Wilson befriended Captain America while volunteering for the Veterans Affairs. Wilson becomes the Falcon using an experimental flight suit, in an effort to help Cap take down HYDRA, but what does he drink when he gets home at night? We’re going with a Cabernet from Messina Hof, a Texas winery currently run by former United States Marine Corps Officer Paul Mitchell Bonarrigo. Active in the community, the winery itself is still known for hosting its annual United States Marine Corps Birthday Dinner every year on November 10.
Ant-Man / Scott Lang
A reformed cat burglar granted the power to enlarge and shrink the size of his body as well as…control ants? Look, we never said the concept of this character was easy to swallow, but in the capable hands of actor Paul Rudd, Ant-Man has turned into a MCU fan favorite. And we can’t imaging Lang sipping anything but 19 Crimes wines, an interactive Australian brand where you scan their bottle labels with your smartphone to learn stories of real 18th-century British prisoners who had been exiled to Australia. (For more fun, read up on five of the most bizarre wine heists in recent history.)
Scarlet Witch / Wanda Maximoff
Originally a villain partnered with her brother Pietro Maximoff (aka Quicksilver) and the evil robot Ultron, Maximoff reinvented herself before becoming a close ally of Captain America and an integral part of the team. We think it’s fitting for the Scarlet Witch to drink Les Hérétiques from Château d’Oupia, a red blend of Carignan and Syrah from Languedoc-Roussillon.
The Vision doesn’t need to drink, but he does mimic human behavior in order to better understand us. So for this glorified super Deus Ex Plot Saver Siri, we’re going with Turley’s White Zinfandel. Vision will never fully pass as human and this black-skinned grape will never cut it as a true white wine due to its ever-present blush color.
Evan Spadaccini is Wine Enthusiast’s junior social media coordinator, Fiona Adams is the senior tasting coordinator and Dylan Garret is the associate digital editor. All three spend way too much time geeking out over comics.