The Fifty Shades of Grey Wine List
Forget about the belts, blindfolds and painfully awkward banter. Fifty Shades of Grey could be a titillating read if tipples are what turn you on.
The book, which sold 60 million copies and will be released as a highly anticipated feature film on Feb. 13 (sure, like you didn’t already know that…), offers no less than 10 wine-centric scenes that steal the show for self-professing oenophiles.
Move over BDSM, we’re about to pull the cork on some GSM. Behold a Grey-sanctioned (but Wine Enthusiast Buying Guide approved) wine list inspired by the salacious read.
—Alexis Korman and Marina Vataj
Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, so it’s no wonder that the first wine mentioned in Fifty Shades of Grey is a Pouilly-Fumé (though fumé means “smoke” in French, here, it’s part of the region’s name). Anastasia and Christian sip this at his apartment, paired with cheese, grapes and French baguette. Fancy.
Pinot Grigio gets some love, too, at the fictional Cuisine Sauvage, near Olympia, Washington, served alongside nettle soup and venison. Some say the restaurant is based on Olympia’s La Petite Maison.
The S&M-loving duo frequented the Heathman Hotel in Portland, Oregon, where they enjoyed Sancerre with oysters and codfish. Fun fact: The Heathman Hotel offers a Fifty Shades package to travelers, replacing Sancerre with Boedecker Cellars’s 2010 Old Vine Pinot Gris from Willamette Valley. Cheekily, it comes with a little grey tie draped around the bottle.
In yet another steamy scene, Ana finds herself—ahem—in a bit of a bind. Thankfully, Christian offers refreshment: an unspecified white wine passed mouth to mouth. (We recommend drinking this Roussanne blend from Santa Barbara out of a glass, however.)
Bollinger Grande Année 1999 Rosé is popped twice in Fifty Shades. The first bottle is sipped out of a teacup by Christian and Ana after her graduation. The second is given to Ana and Kate by Christian as a welcoming gift following their move to Seattle.
In another scene (one of the few outside the bedroom), Christian and Ana enjoy Chablis with chicken Caesar salad at Escala, a real-life upscale apartment building in Seattle. Author E.L. James took a few liberties with the setting, however. Escala’s penthouse suite doesn’t actually have a “red room” or a helicopter-landing pad. But the drink? That’s the real deal.
Think pink. Yes, you’ll likely be blushing a lot in the theater, but James is also well known for her penchant for rosé. Accordingly, pink drinks figure in the book. When Ana and Kate go to meet the Grey family at the Grey’s house one Sunday evening, Carrick Grey pours an unnamed pale pink Prosecco. (We’d simply recommend a sparkling rosé.)
During dinner with the Grey family, Gretchen (also dubbed Miss European Pigtails) serves a generic red wine alongside a detailed, meaty menu. Dishes include chorizo and scallops with roasted red peppers and shallots; beef Wellington; roasted sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips and green beans; and lemon syllabub for dessert. This dinner definitely needs some serious GSM.
Cocktails make an appearance in Fifty Shades of Grey, too. When Christian meets Ana and her mother in a Georgia hotel, the fictional billionaire orders a Hendrick’s Gin and tonic, while the ladies sip cosmopolitans. Does this explain how cosmos got hot again?
The final wine highlighted in Fifty Shades of Grey is a Sancerre, served alongside pasta alle vongole (or pasta with clams) in Christian’s condo at Escala. Fun fact: So many wines appeared in the series that James released two Fifty Shades-inspired wines: White Silk (a Gewürztraminer and Sauvignon Blanc blend) and Red Satin (a Petit Sirah and Syrah blend), made from California grapes by winemaker Mark Beaman. Hopefully, these will help people maintain their buzz—if the Fifty Shades buzz subsides anytime soon, that is.