Friday, November 6, 2020

Blood Of The Vines - R.I.P. Sean Connery

Pairing wine with movies!  See the trailers and hear the fascinating commentary for these movies and many more at Trailers From Hell.  As if the pandemic isn’t bad enough news, we lost another movie great last week. Sean Connery passed away at the ripe old age of 90.  R.I.P, Mr. Connery.

Dr. No, directed by Terence Young in 1962, was the first film in the James Bond series, Connery played Bond, James Bond, opposite Ursula Andress.  Nice work if you can get it.  

Remember how you couldn't get away from spy shows in the '60s?  Dr. No is why.  After the film's success, the spies all came in from the cold.  The character Andress plays, by the way, is a shell diver.  That's right, she sells sea shells by the seashore.

The movie is set in Jamaica, so how about pairing it with Jamaican wine?  Magnum Tonic Wine is actually mead, and is drunk by the locals "for medicinal purposes" and is also considered a sexual stimulant.  That's all well and good, but you might find it easier to locate a Red Stripe beer, or a bottle of rum for your pairing pleasure.  Or a big, fat spliff, mon.

1965's The Hill was directed by Sidney Lumet.  The story centers around a British military prison in Libya where the guards get their jollies by running the prisoners ragged on a hill at the center of the desert camp.  Connery plays a soldier who refused an order to send his men on a suicide mission, so it's the British version of Gitmo for him.  

The role was a real departure for Connery, who by this time had become well known as Bond, James Bond.  He reportedly relished the idea of playing a character that was more or less a heavy, and who didn't have to say his name twice.

The Hill was shot in Almeria, Spain, where so many American movies were shot that the area became known as the Hollywood of Spain.  At least that's what they called it in Spain.  And why not take that as the cue for a wine pairing?

The wine known as El Gringo is a Tempranillo which was named after an actor who worked as an extra in those movies filmed in the Tabernas desert.  If you're in the mood, you can make it a double feature with a Spaghetti Western.

Wrong Is Right is a 1982 comedic thriller that centers on a suitcase full of nuclear explosives.  Man, have we been worrying about that scenario for almost forty years?  Will the pandemic stick around so long that it becomes second nature to us as well?  Scary thought.  

In Wrong Is Right, Connery plays a television news reporter who goes to an Arab country to interview the king.  Despite being an ol' buddy, the king gets him mixed up in the terrorist bomb escapade, which is not something one would expect from our ol' buddy the king.  The laughs in Wrong Is Right are wrung from a situation that is not so funny at all, as in M*A*S*H, S.O.B. or Ishtar.

The wine pairing for Wrong Is Right is a bottle from the Arab world by way of Paso Robles, DAOU Vineyards.  Brothers George and David Daou grew up in Lebanon, with bombs bursting outside the kitchen window.  They left Lebanon, got rich and bought a vineyard in Paso.  Their white Chemin de Fleur is a tasty blend of Viognier, Grenache Blanc and Roussanne.


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