Friday, September 4, 2020

Blood Of The Vines - Island Hopping

Pairing wine with movies!  See the trailers and hear the fascinating commentary for these movies and many more at Trailers From Hell.  A trio of island-related movies are on the card this week to help you escape the pandemic virtually, if you're not ready to brave an airline flight just yet.

Paradise Lagoon is the name used in the U.S. for the release of the 1957 British-American film, The Admirable Crichton.  The screenplay was based on a play written in the early 20th century by J.M. Barrie, the guy behind Peter Pan.  The main character in the movie is a butler.  He lacks Peter Pan's ability to fly, but he has the added advantage of being able to serve drinks.

The story of Paradise Lagoon centers on a group of upper-crust castaways who try to escape scandal on a yacht and end up shipwrecked.  It's sort of like Gilligan's Island, except all the castaways are like Thurston Howell III and Lovie.  Crichton the butler is the Professor of the bunch, the one who keeps everyone alive.

Cast Away Cellars of Couer d'Alene, Idaho could be a fun place to fish for a wine pairing.  They have a bottle called Ripple Red Cuvée, made from Columbia Valley grapes, for $25.  I hope the "ripple" is a reference to a fish hook hitting the water and not a recall of Gallo's Ripple wine of the 1970s and '80s.  In case you still have a craving for that dollar-a-hollah jug wine, any unopened bottles that are still available are reportedly selling for upwards of $200 each.

In the 1980 Canadian-American film, Tanya's Island, Denise Matthews starred as a woman faced with choosing between her abusive boyfriend and an ape man on an imaginary island.  Not a hard choice - the ape man took out the garbage.  Matthews was credited in this movie as D.D. Winters, but you may remember her better as Vanity, of pop's Vanity 6, and even better from Purple Rain.  She was taken away terribly young when her kidneys gave out about four years ago at the age of 57.

For a wine to pair with this bizarre love triangle, let's look to Western Australia's Snake and Herring for Bizarre Love Triangle, a blend of Pinot Gris, Gewûrztraminer and Riesling.  They also have a Chardonnay named Tough Love and a rosé named Tainted Love, to form a damaged goods trilogy.

Ah, 1941.  Now we're talking.  Horror Island features, among other actors, Leo Carrillo, who has a California state park near Malibu named after him.  What an agent he must have had!  The movie centers on a treasure map with an "X" marking the spot of Morgan's Island, off the Florida coastline.  The gullible guy who bought the rock, and the map, takes some hopeful treasure hunters out there on a cruise.  The excursion is beset by bombs, crossbows, a rogue suit of armor, a phantom, a torture chamber and… shudder… a government agent.  I can't watch.

The critics lightly panned the movie in its initial release for not being scary enough, funny enough or mysterious enough for an adult audience, passing it off as kid stuff.  But let's keep the adults in the room long enough to have a drink with Horror Island.

Calistoga's La Sirena has a Napa Valley blend of seven big red grapes in their Pirate TreasuRed.  They've been making it for ten years now, so people must be finding the buried treasure within it.

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