Friday, September 30, 2022

Blood Of The Vines - Asian Explosion

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 have three films which bring a container ship of action from the Far East, and a wine pairing for each of them.

Shogun Assassin is a 1980 mashup of a pair of popular samurai flicks. Like the rest of that year's pop culture, things go from great to lousy in a heartbeat. For every M*A*S*H there's a Dukes of Hazzard. For every Squeeze, there's an Air Supply. For every "Call Me" there’s a "Keep On Loving You." Caught on the fence? There's "Whip It."

"Meet the greatest team in the history of mass slaughter," screams the movie poster for Shogun Assassin. The picture shows a samurai warrior wielding blood-soaked swords, with a little kid in tow. For every "Awww" there's an "ewww." "Sword and sorcery … with a vengeance," the sales blurb goes on. But, ultimately, words fail to capture the magic of a blood stained killer holding a baby. 

Koi Pond Cellars has a red and a white in their Samurai line - a Merlot and a Chardonnay from central Washington. I have no idea why the Parkers dedicated a line of their wines to samurai, but they also have a set of Geisha blends.

1975 - the year that tried to tell us how crappy the '80s were going to be - gave us Inframan. This Hong Kong superhero show pits the Super Inframan against Demon Princess Elzebub. The actual translations of those names are more like "Chinese Superman" and "Princess Dragon Mom," but I think the producers were wise to change them. The DC universe alone is loaded with lawyers, and who knows who takes care of dragon mom copyright infringement?

This bionic-man-meets-kung-fu tale is spun from the same cloth that made Ultraman, so you see a lot of pose-striking. That's how the Thunderball Fists come flying out, silly! Speaking of which, did the James Bond franchise sign off on naming those fists after one of their movies?

Dragonette Cellars makes incredible Sauvignon Blanc wines in Buellton, with a Los Olivos tasting room. Dragon moms and dragon dads alike should find them to be enjoyable pairings with Inframan.  

From 1989 came Tetsuo the Iron Man, a Japanese body horror film that looks like low-budget Cronenberg. When Tetsuo's characters may feel the effects of iron-poor blood, they don't take Geritol - they eat a toaster or stick a piece of rebar in their leg. What happens with a power drill is the stuff from which snuff was made.

Descriptions cannot do this film justice, much like Eraserhead a dozen years before. You may not understand it, but you'll sure as hell never forget it.

That opens the door for a pairing with a South African Pinotage wine. The grape got a bad rap back in the day when people said Pinotage tasted like a rusty nail. Not the cocktail, an actual rusty nail. Improvements were made, and nowadays Pinotage has more wine-like descriptors attached to it, like tar, bacon fat, pipe tobacco and herbal tea. Beeslaar Wines makes a high-end, single-vineyard bottling. 

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