Friday, October 30, 2020

Blood Of The Vines - Halloween Chills

Pairing wine with movies!  See the trailers and hear the fascinating commentary for these movies and many more at Trailers From Hell.  A show of hands: how many remember trick-or-treating when a tampered-with candy bar was the biggest fear?  Should a surgical mask be worn inside or outside the scary character mask?

The 1925 version of Phantom of the Opera predates a handful of other remakes and even different editions of this film.  Phantom has been remade more times than a motel bed.  The takeaway from Carl Laemmle's roaring twenties epic is: when you buy a theater and the seller tells you it's haunted, what's the harm in believing him?

Lon Chaney as the Phantom devised his own makeup for the gig and pretty much did whatever else he wanted.  The Man of a Thousand Faces reportedly told the director to "go to hell" whenever he dared to give him any direction.

Phantom Wines offers two haunting styles to pair with this film.  The California red blend mixes Petite Sirah and Zinfandel, while their Chardonnay hails from Clarksburg.

Just when you aren’t expecting a "slapstick zombie comedy," along comes Dead Alive.  Apparently that title didn't draw enough laughs, so you may see it billed as Braindead.  That oughta have 'em howling in the aisles.   

It's the old boy-meets-girl-who-becomes-a-zombie story, set in New Zealand because it was co-written and directed by Peter Jackson.  The movie reminds us that you can bury a zombie, but you can't get rid of her.

Chateau Diana - in California's Dry Creek Valley - has a Zombie Zin which is dark, lush and complex.  That's more than you can say for most zombies, by the way.  It's a $10 pairing with any form of the Zombie Apocalypse.

1978's Halloween set the tone for decades of slasher movies and started an entire industry of Halloween costumes.  Michael Myers was a bad kid - killed his sister - and was no better as an adult - killed nearly everybody else.  

You could argue that John Carpenter's film shouldn’t even be seen because it promotes the most evil and violent human tendencies, but that cat's out of the box.  Everyone has already seen it multiple times and has probably dressed up as Myers for trick-or-treating or an office party.  Welcome to Slasherville, USA, babysitters beware.

Pair Halloween with a wine which is comfortable living a life of sin.  The 7 Deadly Red has Lodi Zinfandel blended with its conspirators, Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.  If you are slicing some cheese to go with it, be careful with that kitchen knife.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Pairing Sherry With Halloween Candy

It may, or may not, surprise you to learn that Halloween candy isn't just for Halloween - and it isn't just for kids, either.  Hershey reports that nearly half of Halloween candy sales are made by people buying treats for themselves.  

Since I write more about wine than candy, I'll explore some pairing ideas for various types of Halloween candy with sherry.  With trick-or-treating presumably at a minimum this year due to the pandemic, just break open the candy bags for you and the kids and pop the cork on a sherry for yourself.  Safer at home.

Gonzalez Byass Alfonso Oloroso  -- SRP $25

Nick Africano, Founder of En Rama LLC New York, says he finds one candy-and-sherry pairing to be a no-brainer.  "Reese's Peanut Butter Cups are a classic American candy," he says.  "Now try them alongside a sip of another classic: Oloroso Sherry."  Africano believes that Oloroso is sherry's "gateway to the American palate."   "The Alfonso Oloroso from the iconic Gonzalez Byass family with its dark notes of toasted pecan, old wood, and burnt orange is not only a harmonious match for the nutty, chocolatey, Reese's cups, but simultaneously serves as a poignant introduction to one of the world's best beverages: Sherry!"

Peanuts also play a role in the pairing for Washington DC-based Chantal Tseng, Founder of Custom Cocktails for the End of Times and US Sherry Week Ambassador.  She recommends Gonzalez Byass Alfonso Oloroso and PayDay Bars, a salted peanut bar held together with nougat-caramel.

Gonzalez Byass Nectar PX -- SRP $25

A more adventurous pairing comes from Cheryl Wakerhauser, Owner, Executive Chef and Wine Director of Pix Patisserie and Bar Vivant, in Portland, Oregon.  "The full-bodied opulence of the Pedro Ximénez is calling for something to contrast it with, such as the crunchy outer shell of a Good & Plenty," she says.  "The licorice flavor of the candy brings forward the hint of savory, black olive notes in the wine."

Harveys Bristol Cream -- SRP $20

"So, you want to feel responsible with your candy cravings?" remarks Kat Thomas, Wine Goddess LV from Las Vegas. "I've got the perfect treat (no tricks here). Unwrap a Chunky Bar and let yourself find the flow in a nutty, sweet, and responsibly balanced bite. Dried fruit and sweet chocolate find their safe place nestled in this Sherry's 'legs'... and if you can't do peanuts, feed the flow with Raisinettes."  Pair the goodies with Harveys Bristol Cream.

Hopefully your Halloween will be a safe one, a happy one, and one full of candy - and sherry.

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Monday, October 26, 2020

Winning Hand From Spain

A trusted importer is a great place to look for exceptional wines.  Ace Kicker Big Bet Blend is brought to us from Spain by Gonzalez Byass.  The wine is a six-grape mix designated as Vino de la Tierra, from Castilla.  The grapes are 34% Cabernet Franc, 27% Syrah, 15% Petit Verdot, 12% Tempranillo, 7% Graciano and 5% Garnacha.  The wine was aged for eight months in French and American oak barrels.  Alcohol hits 14% abv and the retail price is $15.

The importer says the wine was "born in Spain and raised in a casino," and that it pairs well with steaks and winning hands.

The quality level of Vino de la Tierra is a notch below the typical D.O. designation for Spanish wine.

This Spanish red blend is medium dark and has a nose that is loaded with red fruit, peppery herbs and smoke.  The fruit forward palate has eight months of oak showing and a firm set of tannins.  The flavors are deep and quite juicy.

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Friday, October 23, 2020

Blood Of The Vines - A Hitch Not A Glitch

Pairing wine with movies!  See the trailers and hear the fascinating commentary for these movies and many more at Trailers From Hell.  What better trio of films to receive a wine pairing than a handful of Hitchcocks.

If you're a fan of Alfred Hitchcock's films - and you'd better be - you know there's going to be some drinking going on.  Nearly all his dozens of movies have his characters using booze to brace themselves, lighten themselves or heal themselves.  Hitchcock was a fine wine connoisseur, he loved the juice of the grape so much that he bought an estate in the Santa Cruz mountains.  It's now a winery, by the way.

Notorious, from 1946, started out as a David O. Selznick project.  He sold the movie to RKO after trying unsuccessfully to get a hit song included in the soundtrack.  One of his song ideas was reportedly "Don't Give Any More Beer to My Father," which is a hit I think the world really missed out on.

This is one of several high-water marks of drinking in Hitchcock films.  Ingrid Bergman's character says to a party guest who claims to have "had enough," "The important drinking hasn't started yet."  She is also seen drinking a fizzy hangover cure in the morning, after some of that "important drinking," no doubt.

A fancy French wine is used as a hiding place for some Nazi uranium ore in Notorious.  When Cary Grant drops that bottle of 1934 Volnay Caillerets Bouchard, my heart skips a beat every time I see it. "Not the premier cru!"  The black dust gets swept under the wine rack without so much as a rubber glove for protection.

So, the wine pairing for Notorious is all spelled out for us.  You can find a recent vintage of Volnay Caillerets Bouchard for $50 to $60, but for the 1934 vintage you'll have to go to auction, so expect to spend a lot more.  Louis Jadot has a Pommard which sells for around $40, and that appears to be the bottom end for that appellation. 

1972's Frenzy is about a London serial killer who strangles his victims with his own tie.  Before you jump to the conclusion that such an idiot move means he was drunk at the time, consider that he wore a tie pin which had his name on it.  "Oh, so he was high, too?"  

Tying himself to the crimes even tighter, the criminal uses a trunkful of circumstantial evidence to try and frame his friend for the killings.  Well, what are friends for, anyway?  The television series The Fugitive was only a five-year-old memory at the time.  So, Frenzy's framee becomes a fugitive trying to prove his innocence, while the framer is left making sure he still has both arms.

Look to New Zealand for this wine pairing - Marlborough's Frenzy Sauvignon Blanc.  The Kiwi acidity is refreshing enough to keep you on the edge of your seat, even if the film fails to do so.

The 1964 thriller Marnie may be one of Hitchcock's most misunderstood efforts.  Knocked by a lot of critics at the time, it was well-received at the box office and has maintained a so-so ranking among movie buffs over time.  Much criticism was given to the two relative unknowns Hitch cast in the lead roles - Tippi Hedren and Sean Connery.  He gave Hedren the role while The Birds was still in production.  Suffice it to say the actors didn't remain unknown for long.

Viewers often balk at the characters - Hedren as an embezzler and Connery as a businessman who hires her, even though he knows about her past.  Of course, she robs him, too.  Of course they marry.  Of course, it’s complicated.  You can say that about any honeymoon involving a rape and a suicide attempt, I suppose.  The rape scene was apparently what Hitchcock liked best about the script, which gives us a view of the master through the "creepy misogynist" filter.

Let's get a wine pairing from Hitch's very own California land.  His former Santa Cruz Mountains home is now called Heart O’ the Mountain Estate.  Today, they make Pinot Noir wines that sell for around $50 and a Chardonnay that goes for a little less.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Savory Rias Baixas Albariño

Spain's Rias Baixas region is the home of the Albariño grape, the sometimes floral, always fruity white wine grape which thrives in the country's northwest corner.  Albariño is not only a delicious white wine on its own, but it is one of the more food-friendly grapes you’ll find.  In fact, Albariño seems to crave a food pairing so it can show its best.  

The 2018 Eidosela Albariño was made from grapes grown in the Condado do Tea sub-region.  The destemmed fruit is crushed, pressed, decanted, filtered, fermented, racked and cold stabilized at the winery, then filtered again.  Alcohol content is Albariño's usual 13% abv, while the wine sells for less than $20.

This Spanish wine has a medium-pale golden hue in the glass.  The nose is more fruity than floral, with apricots and citrus in the forefront.  A salinity hovers over the fruit, giving the aromas a nice savory angle.  That savory side shows up for real on the palate, with a racy acidity to go along with it.  Pair this with shellfish and enjoy.

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Monday, October 19, 2020

Sweet Piedmont Mosketto Wines

There is a big market these days for sweet wines.  Sweet in the sense that they are not dry, but not exactly dessert style.  These three Mosketto wines - from Bronco Wines - should appeal to those looking for low-alcohol beverages in the White Claw vein.  I was not bowled over by complexity in these wines, but for sweet, fizzy fun, they fit perfectly.  All three were made with grapes from Italy's Piedmont region, Moscato and Brachetto.  All three also hit only 5% abv for alcohol content and they all sell for $12.  Don’t pair them with dessert, by the way - they go better with salty snacks.

Mosketto Frizzante Bianco

This one is all Moscato.  The wine is actually a partially fermented grape juice.  Sweet on the nose, sweet on the palate - with a bit of fizz thrown in to make it feel more like a party.  This is a wine for gulping by the pool, not a wine for ruminating upon.  

Mosketto Frizzante Rosato

Combining Moscato and Brachetto grapes, this one is a little more tart on the nose, but with the same sweet palate.

Mosketto Frizzante Rosso

All Brachetto here.  The wine is much earthier than the previous selections, and actually quite tasty.

The Mosketto wines are imported by Mack and Schuhle of Miami.

Friday, October 16, 2020

Blood Of The Vines - Crime Spree

Pairing wine with movies!  See the trailers and hear the fascinating commentary for these movies and many more at Trailers From Hell.  Crime is a hot topic in the movies, but be careful - you don't always know who the criminals are.

Clay Pigeon didn't exactly set 1971 on fire, but if it had, it would have been liable for more serious crimes than artistic ones.  Plus, in the pairing-wine-with-movies biz, it's always touch-and-go when dealing with a film involving substance abuse.  The laughs don't exactly fall out of the balcony.  

This movie starred Tom Stern, who also co-directed with Lane Slate.  You may know Stern as the one-time husband of Samantha Eggar, or he may be on your radar for being what IMDb calls the "Orson Welles of '60s biker movies."  Citizen Knucklehead, anyone?

In Clay Pigeon, Stern was a Vietnam vet who wanted to kick hard drugs.  An admirable pursuit, and one that would be hard enough without CIA goon Telly Savalas leaning on him to help take down drug kingpin Robert Vaughn.  A lot of actors in Clay Pigeon had to master the art of looking like a dead body - a time honored Hollywood skill set.

Savalas was very proud of his Greek heritage, so a Greek wine might be a nice pairing with Clay Pigeon.  Skip the Retsina - that beverage you might sample at a Greek church festival.  It tastes like a pine tree, and not in a good way, if there is a good way to taste like a pine tree.  Try a bottle of Nu Greek Wine of Sonoma.  It is made in Greece and shipped to Sonoma where it is bottled.

1988's The Dead Pool was the fifth and final movie to feature Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry character.  Harry Callahan gets to assert his dislike of criminals and the media in more or less equal measure.  The story centers on a friendly wager over premature celebrity deaths.  The bet becomes an issue for Harry when he becomes one of the celebrities and murder becomes a way to fix the betting line.

Eastwood was once the mayor of Carmel, California, so a Monterey wine would be an appropriate match.  He told interviewers that he preferred to drink Chardonnay, so let's grab one from Bernardus, which has several good Chards in the 30 to 50 dollar range.

Prime Cut was a dark 1972 glimpse of the underbelly of the underworld in the American Midwest.  Director Michael Ritchie - before Bad News Bears - manages to juxtapose the sex trade with slaughterhouses, and it doesn't seem like that much of a reach.  Anyhow, it stars Lee Marvin as mob muscle and Gene Hackman as a miscreant meatpacker.  You had me at Lee Marvin.  And Gene Hackman.

For some reason, the scene that stuck in my seventeen-year-old mind was Marvin looking over Hackman as he tore through a hideous looking plate of food.  "You eat guts," says Marvin.  Hackman replies, with a mouthful of food, "Yeah. I like ‘em."  Then Marvin blocks the plate and says "Talk now, eat later."  The scene leaves me with mixed feelings about sausage.

We will want a wine for Prime Cut which pairs nicely with midwestern beef.  You may opt for a Napa Cab - nothing wrong with that choice if you are afraid to branch out.  I'll go out on a limb for Zinfandel without any prompting.  Beekeeper Zinfandel hails from Sonoma County and will face off against any Cab, anytime.  And, people who wear labcoats to work say red wine is not only good with guts, but also good for your gut health.  Cheers.

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Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Going For Broke - Zinfandel-Heavy Red Blend

Paydirt winery's Going For Broke red blend embraces the notion that "risking it all brings about the greatest reward."  This is a Zinfandel-heavy mix with six other grapes involved.  The breakdown looks like this: 81% Zinfandel, 6% Grenache, 4% Petite Sirah, 3% Syrah, 2% Mourvedre, 2% Barbera and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon.

The fruit came largely from Paso Robles' Westside Hills, but contributions were also made by Napa Valley, Alexander Valley, Sonoma Valley, Amador, Lodi and Marin County.  Specific vineyard sites include Gravity Hills, Dusi Vineyard, Hastings Ranch, Paso Ono Vineyard, Terra Bella, Clevenger Ranch, Shadow Canyon, and Alta Colina. 

The interesting label art wraps around the bottle and depicts what seems to be a variety of "going for broke" facial expressions in what is likely a coastal California Gold Rush scene.

Winemaker McPrice Myers says the de-stemmed grapes were fermented in stainless steel and small open-top bins with 20 days of skin contact.  Aging took place over 12 months in mostly neutral French oak barrels.  Alcohol is up there - 15.2% abv - and the retail price is $25.

The medium-dark wine smells of ripe, red fruit dotted with peppery, herbal notes.  There are whiffs of vanilla, cedar and cigars as well.  The palate shows the red berries plainly, along with a tongue-tingling acidity and toothy tannins.  A lengthy decant is useful, if not required, before enjoying.  Pair the wine with the red meat of your choice.

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Monday, October 12, 2020

Napa Cabernet Sauvignon Brings Sense Of Place

Eight winemakers from different parts of the world recently got together, virtually, to show the diversity of flavor and style that come from unique places, landscapes and, micro-climates. 

The debut webinar, "Unique Regions of the World," featured wines from France's Loire Valley, Germany, Sardinia, Chile, Australia, Portugal and two California regions, Napa Valley and Paso Robles.

The 2017 Black Stallion Cabernet Sauvignon, from Napa Valley's Oak Knoll District, represents its area quite well.  The winery stands on the grounds of the former Silverado Horseman's Center, hence the equine branding.  

Director of Winemaking Ralf Holdenried says, "winemaking begins in the vineyard.  Location, climate, soils, picking decisions are all important factors that determine the quality of our wine."  This wine brings an alcohol level of 15% abv and has a retail price of $60.

This Napa Cab sits dark in the glass, emitting aromas of black cherry, cassis, anise, vanilla and some pencil lead.  It's a remarkably fresh wine, with a racy acidity and very firm tannins.  Dark red fruit on the palate is layered with a savory backbeat which lingers on the lengthy finish.

Friday, October 9, 2020

Blood Of The Vines - Speed Crazy

Pairing wine with movies!  See the trailers and hear the fascinating commentary for these movies and many more at Trailers From Hell.  And watch your speed, unless you want to be breaking news.

2019's Ford v Ferrari is a gearhead's movie.  A speed freak's movie.  A Ford man's movie.  Keep your Chevys in the garage and your Found-On-Road-Dead jokes to yourself while the Shelby Ford GT40 screams down the straightaway like a rocket.  The film is based on the effort of designer Carroll Shelby and driver Ken Miles to rudely knock Ferrari off its throne at Le Mans.  Henry Ford II and Lee Iacocca made it a grudge match to embarrass Enzo Ferrari after he flipped them off in a failed buyout.

The film stars Matt Damon and Christian Bale, which means it was halfway to success from the green flag.  It got quite a lot of attention in the awards season and is a good film for those who like their movies with the sound of pistons and the smell of exhaust, should there be any streaming devices featuring smells as part of the monthly plan.  The racing scenes at Le Mans are thrilling, and you'll be glad you have a nice beverage at your side as your feet instinctively try to work the brakes and gas.

We'll opt here for a wine from Lodi-based Gravelly Ford.  Their red blend features Petite Sirah, Ruby Cabernet and Syrah.  And, for me at least, it conjures up a vision of a hot car throwing up gravel behind it, rear wheels spinning like lathes.

Pit Stop, from 1969, is a little-known but well-admired film about figure-eight racing.  In that sport, the track has an intersection at the center, where a multitude of crashes are promised to the paying customers as the racers cross paths.  The title was the third choice, after The Winner and Winning.  Turns out, by the way, there is no pit stop featured in the movie.

The one-sheet for the film tried to make a lot more hay from a pit stop than there actually was.  "Crash-O-Rama,"  "Raw Guts for Glory," "Flesh Against Steel" - they sound like attempts to whip up some manufactured excitement.  It would hardly seem necessary, in a race where there is a dedicated crash site right in the middle of the track.

It's amazing how many liquor stores are called The Pit Stop, or some variation.  Is there no tip of the hat to the avoidance of drinking and driving?  "I'll just pick up a flask for the high-speed chase that is sure to result on the way home."   Everyone wants to be breaking news anymore.

Adobe Road Winery has a line called The Racing Series.  Owner Kevin Buckler married his passion for racing to his love of wine.  The wines - Redline, Shift, The 24 and Apex - are California-grown.

1975's White Line Fever is not so much speed crazy, just plain crazy.  The film was reportedly green-lighted after the success of the blaxploitation film, Truck Turner.  The studio exec apparently thought Truck Turner was about trucks.  Look, you have access to a screening room - use it.

White Line Fever mixes big rigs with organized crime and throws in a driver who wants to blow the lid off the whole thing.  Sort of a modern-day shoot-em-up western on wheels - big wheels - 18 of 'em.

There is a crazy story from earlier this year about a guy in Turlock, California who flagged down a tanker truck hauling wine, then opened a valve and started guzzling.  That's what I call getting hard up for a drink.  He must have had red wine fever.

For pairing with White Line Fever, let’s look at a wine brand which has a big rig connection.  Mack Trucks makes a big deal about how they haul Bronco Wines from California's Central Valley to a supermarket bottom shelf near you.  They may even drive right through Turlock, California.  Even though the hero in White Line Fever named his truck the Blue Mule, we'll pair the film with Red Truck Pinot Grigio.  Please wipe off the valve after you're done guzzling.

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Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Two Incredible German Riesling Wines

Two wonderful Riesling wines have come my way as part of an online virtual tasting event, each of which demonstrate what there is to love about the different styles of Riesling wine.

Many consumers have a difficult time buying Riesling wines, in part because of the labeling of German wines.  American Riesling producers often put a "sweetness meter" on the label, to help show the wine buyer what's in the bottle.  That is a seldom-seen help on German bottlings.

Schloss Johannisberg bills themselves on the label and the website as "the first Riesling wine estate of the world," born from "1200 years of wine culture."  During the 18th century, the grapes were brought back from harvest to the winery late, infected with noble rot.  Surprise … they liked it that way.  They liked it so much, they put up a statue of the tardy grape carrier.  This wine has an extremely low alcohol content of 8% abv.  It retails for $60.

The 2016 Schloss Johannisberg Rheingau Grünlack Spätlese Riesling wine is made from late-harvested grapes, so it is sweet (spätlese.)  However, it is sweet in a different way than a dessert wine is sweet.  There is no layered sugar, no raisiny note.  I get the sweetness of the grapes, but also the minerals which accompany them.  Stone fruit is apparent, as is the smell of a wet driveway, a whiff of ozone and the faint petrol notes that begin to show in Rieslings over time.  This may be one of the best sweet examples of the grape that I have had. 

The 2018 Schloss Johannisberg Silberlack Trocken is Rheingau Riesling done in the dry style (trocken.)  The wine has a higher, but still quite reasonable alcohol content of 12.5% abv.  It retails for $90.

This wine is dry.  Its nose gives minerals, apricot, a bit of lemon and some slate.  On the palate, acidity is fresh and the minerality is up front.  It is a great Riesling to pair with oysters or crab cakes.  

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Monday, October 5, 2020

Red Blend From Sardinia

Today's wine comes from the Italian isle of Sardinia.  The 2015 Barrua Isola Dei Nuraghi  is made mainly from the Carignano grape (85%) with splashes of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot thrown into the mix.  The grapes were grown on Sardinia's southwest corner, in the Sulcis and Iglesiente regions, the Barrua and Narcao vineyards.  Alcohol is a lofty 15% abv and the wine sells in the $40 range.  It is imported in the U.S. by Kobrand.

Carignano, is known in its native Spain as Carignane, a grape which the winery identifies as being known for its elegant and velvety tannins.  The 2015 vintage was reportedly a good season - there were only a few days of rain in late September which had no effect on the grapes. 

This Sardinian wine is extremely dark and smells of tart, red fruit and a strong herbal accent.  It really has a wonderful nose.  The palate comes on a bit riper, but not much.  The acidity is quite fresh and racy, while the tannins are firm enough, but do not get in the way.  Pair this wine with salami.

Friday, October 2, 2020

Blood Of The Vines - Michael Chapman Week

Pairing wine with movies!  See the trailers and hear the fascinating commentary for these movies and many more at Trailers From Hell.  This week we mourn the loss of cinematographer Michael Chapman, who passed away recently at his Los Angeles home.

If you like the way 1976's Taxi Driver or 1980's Raging Bull looks on the big screen - or on the handheld device you are likely using during the pandemic - you may want to credit Michael Chapman as much as Martin Scorsese for that appearance.  Chapman gave a singular look and feel to those films through his cinematography.  

In Taxi Driver, Travis Bickle's cab becomes an urban spaceship, creeping through the hell of the Big Apple's dark, mean streets.  With its ultra-violence, vigilantism and child prostitution, this was not a good "date night" movie.  In Raging Bull, the stark black-and-white images leap from the screen as if we are thumbing through Life magazine in the 1940s.  Bull was the antidote to what Scorsese felt was the career poison of New York, New York.

I don’t imagine Bickle being a wine drinker, unless Betsy was having one.  He would probably order wine only by color, anyway - red or white.  You talkin' to me, barkeep?  Let's pair the booze with his haircut.  The Mohawk Spirits Distillery of upstate New York makes liqueurs that run the alcohol up to 30%.  That could be enough to warm someone up to a first-date porn film.

For Raging Bull, try Bigardo's Experimental Red Wine.  It not only hails from Spain's Toro region, it has the hand gesture for bull horns on its label.

Chapman also worked with Scorsese on the last hurrah for The Band.  The filming of the 1976 Thanksgiving concert called The Last Waltz was a technical achievement for its day.  The star-studded concert was captured by nine cameras running simultaneously.  Just babysitting them was enough of a job - not to mention making sure they all had film in them.  

There is no wine for The Band in the massive lineup offered by Wines That Rock, but you’ll be in good company for a once-in-a-lifetime rock experience.  Try the Grateful Dead wine, even though Robbie Robertson and his crew were not known as jammers.  

The 1978 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers also had Chapman in the cinematographer's chair.  A remake of the 1956 horror classic, the movie centers on replicants who look like actual people but are without any human emotion.  Think Republican senators, if you need a reference point.  

The San Francisco setting means we can look to Bluxome Street Winery - an urban winery in SOMA which serves up a bit of local history in addition to its Russian River Valley Pinot Noir.


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