In Martin Scorsese's "King of Comedy," Robert De Niro plays Rupert Pupkin, a demented fan obsessed with the late-night talk show host played by Jerry Lewis. If De Niro's digs in Taxi Driver creeped you out, what did you think of his basement room in this movie? The fake talk show set - complete with cardboard cutouts of host and guests - and the pencil-drawn audience to which he works while fantasizing about being the funny man onstage take delusion to new heights.
I began to wonder what kind of wine Rupert Pupkin would drink. All I could think of were the cheesy one-liners printed on a thousand and one wine-related knick-knacks. As I heard them in my head - in Pupkin's voice - they seemed to fit perfectly.
"Wine gets better with age - the older I get, the better I like it." (rim shot)
"I cook with wine. Sometimes I even get it in the food." (drum roll)
"I have a bottle of wine every night except when I don't feel well. Then I have two." (ba-dum-bum)
"Wine - it's why I get out of bed every afternoon." (thunderous applause, weeping Pupkin blows kisses as he takes a bow)
As Pupkin might say in transition, "But seriously, folks," Robert De Niro is quite the wine connoisseur. He has a taste for Italian wine - no surprise there - but he also holds the wines of director Francis Ford Coppola in high regard. He detailed a couple of Coppola's best in his
address at the 2010 Governors Awards.
The 2008 Directors Cut Cinema Sonoma County is not the '07 De Niro fondly remembers, but they say it will entice fans of Super Tuscans. $23
Coppola's 2006 Rubicon Estate "Rubicon" Rutherford Red Blend should do nicely if you can't lay your hands on on the '91 Propritary Blend. $119
More? Funny you should ask...
Keep your eyes open for an Argentine wine called Rodrigo Mendoza. That is said to be the name with which De Niro will label his wine if and when he closes the deal on a Mendoza vineyard.
Viña Cobos uNico Mendoza 2006 - Until Rodrigo Mendoza appears, De Niro can probably spring for this $180 bottle and not hurt a bit. Wine critic Robert Parker bestowed 96 of his prized points on this blend of 67% Cabernet Sauvignon and 33% Malbec.
Martin Scorsese did a short film for Spanish Cava producer Freixenet called "The Key To Reserva." There are some pretty good takes on Hitchcock in it.
The Tribeca Grill Cookbook - De Niro wrote the introduction to this culinary tome featuring recipes from his famed NYC eatery.