Friday, September 10, 2021

Blood Of The Vines - Jazzed Up

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 get three movies we can listen to as well as watch.  We’ll have appropriate wine pairings for these Jazzed Up films.

Round Midnight is the 1986 film about a musician who exiles himself in 1950s Paris, finding new fans and friends in the jazz scene there.  The cast - peppered with real musicians - reads like the marquee at the Blue Note.  The movie features Dexter Gordon, Herbie Hancock, John McLaughlin, Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter, Freddie Hubbard and Cedar Walton, to name more than a few of them.  Gordon plays Dale Turner, a fictional character based on real-life musicians Lester Young and Bud Powell, who were fellow ex-pats of Gordon's back in the day.

The story centers on the musician's abuse of alcohol and drugs and his efforts to escape their clutches.  All the while, the music is the most important thing in his life, more so than his family and friends who were left behind in New York, but running neck-and-neck with booze and a fix.

It's always hard for me to pair a wine with a movie about someone who abuses alcohol, but let's focus on the jazz.  I mean, what else am I going to do, say "I’ll pass on this one?"  Paso Robles winery Vines on the Marycrest has a GSM blend for $42.  It is Syrah-heavy and Grenache-light, so it should really be called an SMG.  Enjoy while watching - and listening - to these masterful jazz giants.  Just know when to stop.

All Night Long was released in the UK in 1962, although it would not hit the states until a year later.  Dave Brubeck and Charles Mingus appear in the film, although British jazzmen Tubby Hayes and John Dankworth are featured more prominently.  The lead actor is Patrick McGoohan, who would go on to be a cult favorite five years later in TV's The Prisoner.  

This movie revolves around the single night of an anniversary party, with plenty of jazz happening.  It was based upon Othello, so there is also plenty of subtext concerning relationships.  

Look to the Sierra Foothills for the wine pairing.  Jazz Cellars is in Calaveras County, California.  They have a tasting room there, but you must bring your own jumping frogs.  Choose a white wine for this B&W movie, a Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc or Marsanne/Roussanne blend should do the trick.

1979's All That Jazz was directed by dancer and choreographer Bob Fosse, who also co-wrote the script as a loosely-based autobiography.  Roy Scheider is nothing short of fantastic in the lead role of a man who is trying to edit a film and stage a musical at the same time.  The work takes its toll, and his hospital bed hallucinations set the tone for other such dream sequences that would follow through the years.  The movie views life as a series of days which start with "It’s showtime, folks!" and end in the morgue.

Pair New Zealand's All That Jazz Rosé with this movie, for the obvious reason.

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