Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Blood Of The Vines: A Night At The Opera

Wine Goes To The Movies with and

The hard thing about pairing a wine to go with a Marx Brothers movie: you have to consider not only how well it goes down, but how well it comes up.  You're going to laugh while drinking it, there's no doubt.  Groucho might say, "The wine has a great nose.  How it got into my nose I'll never know."

The Marx Brothers are one of America's great gifts to comedy.  They're funny even if you don't believe in the sanity clause.  To this day,  in hotels I'm tempted to pick up the house phone and say "Room service, send up a larger room."   I usually make do with a dozen hard-boiled eggs and "some coffee to sober up the stewed prunes."

"A Night at the Opera" has laughs and music, too.  High class music, even though it's sometimes hard to tell if that last note was "high C or vitamin D."  There's so much opera in this film you'd think they were all "vaccinated with a phonograph needle."

The Drinking Song from La Traviata will help set the tone here: "Let's drink to the ecstatic feeling that love arouses... and the love among the chalices will make the kisses hotter."  The sentiment is fine, but if you can morph it into "Take Me Out To The Ball Game", then you have comedy.

Groucho once said, "Wine, women and song. When you get too old for all three, forget the singing and drinking."  Let's never get that old.  The world needs more singing; more ecstatic feelings that love arouses; more people watching the Marx Brothers until the wine comes through their noses.  "Now we're getting somewheres."

Opera is the plural of opus, so why not pull out the stops and cough up a couple of Benjamins for a wine from Opus One Winery.  An expensive Napa Valley Cabernet with the Marx Brothers?  I found various vintages selling for $230 online.  As Groucho said while throwing down the bill in front of his table mate,   "This is an outrage. If I were you, I wouldn't pay it."  Groucho also said, "Money cannot buy happiness and happiness cannot buy money.  That might be a wisecrack, but I doubt it."

High Marx for these:

Duxoup Wine Works - I know it's a different movie, but it's a lot cheaper than the Opus.  At $20 a bottle, it's one of those clubs that would have me as a member.

Weingut Erben von Beulwitz 2002 Spaetburgunder  - I don't suppose I could pass off Karl as a Marx Brother, eh?

Here's the wine list for The Groucho Club in London.

If you're ever in Anchorage, I would say the Marx Brothers Cafe is a must see.

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