Wednesday, August 3, 2011

BLOOD OF THE VINES: THE MONSTER OF PIEDRAS BLANCAS


Blood Of The Vines

Wine Goes To The Movies
With NowAndZin.com and TrailersFromHell.com
Monster movies call for something fun to drink.  When I was younger, it was the "something fun to drink" part that often resulted in watching the monster movie in the first place.  Of course, we advise you to drink - and view - responsibly.  Don't drink more than you can handle, and don't bite off more monster than you can chew.

There's no substitute for what the Trailers From Hell gurus are fond of calling a "guy in a suit" monster movie.  "The Monster of Piedras Blancas" is a great one, and the guy's monster suit is patterned after one of the best.  Three Day Suit Broker could have spent five or six days and not come up with anything like it.

You may think you’re seeing things, as the Piedras Blancas monster actually looks an awful lot like the Creature From The Black Lagoon.  That's because the guy who created the suit also created the Black Lagoon monster outfit.  He was Hollywood’s “Tailor To The Water Monsters.”  You may notice similarities to some of your other favorite creature feature monster suits, too, as some existing molds from other pictures were used to create the Piedras Blancas monster.  As a budget-minded director might say, "If it ain't broke, make another suit from it! And get me a lighthouse location while you're at it!"

Any scary movie is made scarier by setting it in a lighthouse.  Surprisingly, there aren't too many tall lighthouse locations to choose from along the Pacific Coast.  One of the tall ones happens to be at Piedras Blancas, north of San Simeon.  Naturally, it was not used as a location for "The Monster of Piedras Blancas."  A second location - Point Conception - has a shorter lighthouse, and it won out.  Considering the movie's budget, Point Conception might have been all the lighthouse the production could afford.  The town used in the film isCayucos, which translates as “dugout canoes.”   They have no lighthouse, tall or short.

I like the way guru Joe Dante sums up what makes the Piedras Blancas monster tick.  He "doesn't wistfully yearn for the heroine - he just wants to tear your head off."  Can’t we all relate to that after a couple of hours stuck in traffic?  I think we're ready for that drink now.

Piedras Blancas means "white stones" in Spanish, so a wine pairing here should probably be a white wine with a lot of minerality in the flavor profile, something I like to refer to as wet rocks on the palate.  Napa Valley's Cornerstone Cellars makes a low-budget wine that's perfect for this low-budget film: Stepping Stone by Cornerstone White Rocks!  A fun-to-drink blend of Napa Valley Chardonnay and Muscat, White Rocks! has plenty of minerals in the flavor profile, along with a healthy acidity - maybe not enough to tear your head off, but we'll let the the guy in the suit do that.

Further budget cuts?
Point ConcepciĆ³n Celestina Pinot Grigio 2009, $18 - Make it a short pour for the short lighthouse.

Cayucos Cellars Chardonnay 2006, $20 - Pairs well with Muenster Cheese.

Hearst Ranch Winery Glacier Ridge Chardonnay 2009, $25 - Goes nicely with lightly grilled sea monster.


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