Friday, July 15, 2022

Blood Of The Vines - Trippin' Out

Pairing‌‌‌ ‌‌‌wine‌‌‌ ‌‌‌with‌‌‌ ‌‌‌movies!‌‌‌ ‌‌‌See‌‌‌ ‌‌‌the‌‌‌ ‌‌‌trailers‌‌‌ ‌‌‌and‌‌‌ ‌‌‌hear‌‌‌ ‌‌‌the‌‌‌ ‌‌‌fascinating‌‌‌ ‌‌‌commentary‌‌‌ ‌‌‌for‌‌‌ ‌‌‌these‌‌‌ ‌‌‌‌‌movies‌,‌‌ ‌‌‌and‌‌‌ ‌‌‌many‌‌‌ ‌‌‌more‌,‌‌ ‌‌‌at‌‌‌ ‌‌‌Trailers‌‌‌ ‌‌‌From‌‌‌ ‌‌‌Hell.‌‌‌ This week, trip out with some movies that might mess with your head, with wine pairings for each.

If you remember the TV series Then Came Bronson, you may also remember the Mad Magazine parody of it. Bronson is sitting astride his motorcycle at a traffic light when the driver of the car in the next lane asks, "Takin' a trip?" He replies, "No, this is a regular cigarette I'm smoking." With that in mind, and with no apologies to Dick Dale, let's go trippin'.

The 1978 horror film, Blue Sunshine, does for LSD what Reefer Madness did for pot - sensationalizes it, fictionalizes its effects and builds a weird story into a sort of cautionary tale. Past users of a brand of LSD known as Blue Sunshine suddenly start turning up with psychotic breaks from reality which sends them into a homicidal rage. 

As the body count mounts, one guy seems to find himself at the center of the killings and has to prove that he is innocent. How is that gonna sound down at headquarters? "So, like, it was years ago and a guy gave us all some Blue Sunshine and now we’re all going bald and killing dudes…" Your cell is right this way, sir.

The movie landed with a thud in the '70s but has become a bit of a cult item, with a legion of fans, including TFH head guru Joe Dante.

Skip the Blue Nun and pair a blue California sparkler with Blue Sunshine. Blanc de Bleu is really blue, and really sweet, so they say. There's a pic on the website which shows a group of youngstahs drinking the stuff out of blue Solo cups. Proceed with caution.

Any compilation of movies about hallucinogens has to include 1967's The Trip. Written by Jack Nicholson, directed by Roger Corman and featuring Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper, the movie delivers exactly what one might expect from that group, at that time. In addition to Corman's, er, trippy direction you get some nice 1960s views of L.A. locales like Laurel Canyon and the Sunset Strip.

Fonda plays a guy who drops acid for the first time after a divorce. What could go wrong? The trip turns a bit sour as he envisions hooded figures chasing him along the Pacific shore. I'll paraphrase Diner here and say, "I’ve been to Malibu a hundred times and never saw death walkin' a beach."

Australian producer St. John’s Road makes a Barossa blend called LSD. It does not stand for lysergic acid diethylamide, by the way. The letters are for the grapes - Lagrein, Shiraz and Durif. We call Durif Petite Sirah, but LSPS clearly does not have the same ring to it.

Nicholson was busy the following year with Psych-Out, a 1968 movie that had him billed with Dean Stockwell and Bruce Dern. The psychedelic cash-in was produced by Dick Clark, who, as the square-in-residence, insisted on the film's anti-drug message.

The story centers on a deaf runaway in San Francisco. The Haight-Ashbury setting perfectly captures the squalid nonchalance of the hippie lifestyle there. There is a search for a lost brother, helpful hippies, live music, a freak-out and a good trip turned bad - all the ingredients for late '60s psychedelia wrapped up in an 82-minute ball of celluloid.

For Psych-Out, let's try a Washington state wine, from Sleight of Hand Cellars. Psychedelic Syrah is such an alliterative delight it's a wonder no one had thought of it before. Critics like the wine, too.

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