Trailers From Hell. It seems we are still safer at home.
As we do every so often with the Trailers From Hell gang, we take a look at vampires. It's right that someone should, since they can't do it themselves. Have you ever seen a vampire in a mirror? Well, there ya go. Besides, a fang dripping blood is a great way to introduce a red wine pairing.
One of the films with which we are pairing wine this week is the first Iranian vampire western - I'll let that sink in for a moment. The 2014 classic A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night was made by an Iranian-American woman and shot in the Kern County town of Taft, California. Taft has a history all its own, which includes a string of previous names including Moron and Siding Number Two. The town has also provided the backdrop for other films, like Five Easy Pieces, Thelma and Louise and Attack of the 50 Foot Woman. There were no vampires in those films, though.
Comparisons to Spaghetti Westerns and vampire classics like Nosferatu come easily. The Girl With No Name wears a chador, basically a Persian cape. She's a bit of a loner - you get that way when you kill anyone who comes home with you. She takes no shit from anybody but does not chomp down on a cigar stub, a la Eastwood. She skateboards. She has a soft spot for a certain Middle Eastern lug. She's the vampire with a heart of gold. What will she drink? Besides blood?
The lady will have a Shiraz, of course. Syrah, if you like, but the city of Shiraz may have been the center of Iranian winemaking when there still was such a thing. Booze was made illegal in Iran in 1979, so their Prohibition has lasted a lot longer than ours did. Australia's Mollydooker makes a Shiraz called The Boxer, which is also the base wine for their Miss Molly Sparkling Shiraz, if you want some bubbles with your blood.
In 1997's Habit, parallels are drawn between the lives of vampires and drug addicts. You could laugh it off by calling it The Girl Can't Help It, or She's Gotta Have It, or So I'm Dating a Vampire. Hot sex isn't so much fun when it's paired with a blood donation. Speaking of pairing...
The Habit wine company is run by Jeff Fischer out of Santa Barbara County. He drains the blood from grapes grown in the Santa Ynez Valley and Happy Canyon. We'll excuse him for the insensitivity of calling his wine club The Fix. Like the gal in the movie, he just can't help himself.
And now, it's Hammer Time! 1970's Taste the Blood of Dracula was Hammer Films' fifth Drac flick and the fourth to star Christopher Lee as the count himself. Mixed into the swirling broth of blood-sucking, death and reanimation is some good, old-fashioned revenge animus. If you could pick on whose bad side to land, it should not be Dracula's.
Pairing a wine with Dracula is fairly simple. Look to the east, where daylight breaks and drives vampires back into their coffins. Eastern Europe, specifically Romania and Moldova, has a grape for the ghastly. Feteasca Neagra is a red grape which Transylvania Wine - you read that right - turns into a blood-red sip branded as Castellum Dracula, unoaked of course. They also offer spirits along the same lines.
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