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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