Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Blood Of The Vines

Wine Goes To The Movies
With and

If "Godzilla, King Of The Monsters" doesn't put you in the mood to drink some wine, I can't say I blame you.  Sake, maybe.  A special Jolt Cola/Espresso/Red Bull blend, definitely.  But we don't think of wine as a beverage that puts us in the mood to destroy major cities - not good wine, anyway.

The theme of monsters - particularly Godzilla - runs fairly deep in wine culture, though.  I picked up the scent of a Napa Valley wine called Cabzilla, which appeared briefly in 2002.  It didn't take long for the people who own the rights to Godzilla to step in and trash that copyright infringement in good ol' Godzilla fashion, except without the firebreathing.

There's the TV ad for yellowtail Chardonnay, in which Godzilla stars.  He sports a yellow tail, which is apparently where the connection ends.  That's not close enough for Blood Of The Vines, and we're not recommending yellowtail Chardonnay to anybody, no matter whose tail is yellow.

I have no idea who makes Kyle's Homebrewed Godzilla Wine.  Since wine is fermented, not brewed, this person may be a little confused.  They also may have received a visit from Godzilla's lawyers after they took care of that messy business in Napa Valley.

There's a Godzilla Wine which is said to be on sale in Japan.  It seems to be a little early to celebrate Godzilla's 60th anniversary; the wine bears the dates "1954 - 2014."  It's sold by Koichi Kawakita, who was a special effects guy on a number of Godzilla movies, although not the 1956 classic.  If you have a yen for it, it'll cost you 4,800 yen - about $53 - and you have to get it from Japan.  Considering the sketchy information and difficulty in obtaining it, let's pass on this one, too.

The subtitles won't match, but we could look to Italy for a Godzilla pairing.  Barolo is often referred to as the king of wines.  That would seem fitting for the king of monsters. Giacomo Conterno Barolo Riserva Monfortino 1990 was said to have "mouth-searing levels of tannin" by wine critic Robert Parker, who also called the wine an "old style, monster Barolo."  A bottle will run close to $400, though.  If you're a little short until payday, let's opt for something more affordable - and with an actual connection to the movie.
Raymond Burr appeared in "Godzilla, King Of The Monsters," although in scenes added post-production.  He got a chance to use his fine "mopping the sweaty brow" routine that he developed a couple of years earlier as Lars Thorwald in "Rear Window."

Burr had some land in Sonoma County's Dry Creek Valley long after his appearance in this film.  Grapes were planted, wine was made and here's our recommendation: Raymond Burr Vineyards 2009 Estate Port, $48.  It's produced from estate-grown Portuguese varieties Tinta Cao, Tinta Madeira and Touriga Nacional.  It may not be described as a monster, but the wine does have a "long, complex finish," which is what Godzilla served up on Tokyo when he was brought out from the cellar.  Also like Godzilla, this wine will age well for many years.

Godzilla on a budget:
1. Sebastiani "The Crusher" Clarksburg Petite Sirah - $13

2. Gemtree "Bloodstone" Shiraz-Viognier McLaren Vale South Australia - $14

3. Ballast Point Brewing Company "Sea Monster" Imperial Stout, 22 oz. - $11

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