Thursday, September 27, 2012

Blood Of The Vines: 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea

Wine Goes to the Movies with 
Now And Zin and Trailers From Hell

Sitting around drinking squid ink was never even a consideration for me, but the dinner table scene in "20,000 Leagues Under The Sea" shows a few wine glasses.  Given Captain Nemo's love of harvesting only from the ocean, I would love to know where the sea grapes grow.  That would take oceanic influence to a whole new level.

Animation was Disney's only special effect until "20,000 Leagues..." came around.  Well, that and Thurl Ravenscroft’s voice.  The Magic Kingdom's first foray into live action spent its over-budget effects money wisely.  The giant squid is superb; but even though he has eight arms, he has no lines.  He’d look good cut into pieces and deep fried, with a side of marinara sauce and some Sangiovese, or Alto Adige Riesling.

Kirk Douglas looks like he might have been working out at Nautilus, not riding around the world in one.  His character, Ned Land, is one of those over-the-top rowdy guys of which Disney never tired.  Annoying sea shanties, poor table manners and an irrepressible urge to do the wrong thing at the wrong time are all qualities that keep the wheels turning in a Disney film.  It's no shock to find him getting drunk in one scene, and even less of one to see him fall asleep with the sort of look on his face that a drunk can have only in a Disney movie.

James Mason and Peter Lorre's voices always make me think of Ed Sullivan, who featured an impressionist each week on his show offering his turn on both.  And Lorre plays his faithful servant role for some pretty good laughs.  He looks like he expects to be pistol whipped by Humphrey Bogart at any moment.

I couldn’t find any underwater wine to pair with “20,000 Leagues...” - Nemo took the secret of that undersea vineyard to his grave - but the Nautilus does make a pass near New Zealand, where today Nautilus wine is found.  Their Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay are good choices to pair with calamari - giant or not.

Sea if these float your boat:

Holus Bolus Wine - This Lompoc winery has an octopus label adorning several Santa Barbara County Syrahs as well as a Roussanne, in case you can't decide whether to have red or white with your cephalopod.

Eight Arms Cellars - A one man operation in Berkeley - that man wishes he had 8 arms with which to get all his work done.  Nemo wished he were similarly equipped to keep Kirk Douglas under control.

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