Thursday, May 31, 2012

Blood Of The Vines: Strangers on a Train

Wine Goes To The Movies With 

Here we go, back to Alfred Hitchcock for another pairing of wine with a movie.  Why not?  There's always plenty to drink in a Hitchcock movie, and Hitch was quite the wine connoisseur himself.  So you can hardly go wrong with any of his films.

The drinks connection is made even easier by an irreverent movie blogger who suggests a game in which you watch "Strangers on a Train" and have a drink every time you see Robert Walker's tie pin, someone wearing glasses, a guy in a suit or hear carnival music.  That last one could work in a number of Hitchcock movies.  The guy loved calliopes.

Speaking of music, the rock group Journey may have had "Strangers on a Train" on the brain when they penned "Don't Stop Believin'." They had a small town girl and a city boy both on the train.  But the strangers were all on the boulevard.  Not even a hint of murder.  Maybe they were playing that drinking game while watching the movie and writing the song.

There's the "strange toast" which is alluded to prominently in the trailer.  I'd suggest an Irish toast if you want a really strange one.  "May the seven hounds of hell sit on the spool of your chest and bark in at your soul case." Wait, that's an Irish curse.  Aah, what's the difference?  Make a drinking game out of it and anything goes.

You’ll probably want to make like a Hitchcock character and have a snifter of brandy after getting an eyeful of Robert Walker's smoking jacket - noirishly festooned with ashtrays and cigarettes all over it!  Was he sporting a pair of charcoal slacks with it?  I must speak with his tailor to find out if he has one worked up with wine glasses and corkscrews in the pattern.

Walker does an outstanding job in this movie, but nothing stands out more than his face in the crowd at Farley Granger’s tennis match.  He keeps his head perfectly still while keeping his gaze fixed on Granger.  That’s pretty creepy, but when the carousel goes ballistic it's time to cut the drinking games and get serious about it.

Pomar Junction is serious about wine and trains.  There’s a railroad in their family tree - and on their labels.  They even have a train at the winery.  Well, they have a boxcar and a caboose.  They only go somewhere in your imagination.  Their wine is another story - it’s going places fast.  Their Train Wreck is equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel and Syrah.  All aboard!


Red Car Wine Company - Yes, it’s named after a trolley - but they have a Boxcar line if the HO gauge isn’t enough for you.

Loco Vino produces wine in Macon, Missouri which is inspired - or at least the labels are - by railroad history.  It may take a little work to find it, sort of like that pesky cigarette lighter in the movie.

Central Coast Railroad Festival Wine Train Excursions - San Luis Obispo County knows how to get to the wine in style..  They brake for wineries.

The Napa Valley Wine Train - The same idea as above, but further north.

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