Friday, June 30, 2023

Blood Of The Vines - Weird Musicals

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 find wine pairings for three musical movies which may cause us to need a drink - Weird Musicals.

When we say weird, we mean weird. Cannibal! The Musical could hardly get any weirder. If you thought a musical featuring Nazi soldiers was weird - and there have been a few: The Sound of Music, Cabaret, Blazing Saddles - wait until you get a load of this. Cannibal! The Musical is a 1993 black comedy about people eating other people, set to music. 

From the comedy team of Trey Parker and Matt Stone, in their pre-South Park days, the script loosely follows real-life events from the late 19th century. You know how it is - a winter excursion strands your group in the mountains and, well, ya gotta eat.

You may find it surprising that someone could find humor in that sort of desperation. You may even find it disturbing, or disgusting. Parker made a successful career off of making people feel those emotions after this directorial debut. Have you given any thought to what you'll snack on while watching Cannibal! The Musical? Ears of corn? Kidney beans? Lady fingers? That's up to you. My job is to select a wine pairing.

Cannibal Creek Winery in southeastern Australia offers a great place to start the search, and to stop it. They have a full line of wines that will pair incredibly well with a movie featuring both cannibalism and a thoughtful score.

The Apple made 1980 memorable for fans of horribly bad movies. It is a scifi musical with biblical overtones, hence the prominently placed apple. The Menahem Golan picture took a look into the future as far away as … 1994. Really? Was that a dollar store crystal ball? You look into the future of rock and roll and can't see farther than 14 years? I'd get my dollar back.

Golan likely wanted at least some of his millions back after getting a look at what most critics and viewers consider to be one of the worst movies ever made. The musical aspect of the film reportedly ate up some seven thousand dollars per day of production - and we don't even have a soundtrack album to show for it! Not that we would really want one.

There is a feeling that there may be something here that's entertaining. A god-like person named Mr. Topps, who rides in a Rolls Royce-shaped cloud? That sounds like we may be onto something good. Then we find that the savior sent by the supreme being was trying to save the gifted singer from the evil clutches of glittery gays and drag queens. I'll bet there wasn't a Bud Light to be had on the set.

Let's pick a wine for The Apple befitting of this misanthropic marvel. Washington state's Chateau Ste Michelle has a red blend called Prayers for Sinners and Saints, because they feel that our true self lies somewhere in between those two extremes. For real-life choices, there is a lot of gray area there. It is simpler with the wine - white or red?

1982's Pink Floyd - The Wall is one of the more depressing musicals out there - which is saying something, as we have already chalked one up to cannibalism. 

Alienation, the horror of war, the danger of hammers and becoming comfortably numb are not exactly the stuff of Rex Harrison moments. And nobody ever accused Roger Waters of being either Lerner or Loewe

Pink Floyd - The Wall was a big enough hit that we might have expected musicals made from other Pink Floyd albums. However, Pink Floyd - Obscured By Clouds, Pink Floyd - A Saucerful of Secrets and Pink Floyd - Ummagumma never materialized.

Oh, by the way, which one's Pink? Bob Geldof. Bob Geldof is Pink. But, we'll go full red for one of the Wines That Rock. They don't have one dedicated to The Wall, but the Cabernet Sauvignon for The Dark Side of the Moon is close enough for rock'n'roll.

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Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Wine From France Via Texas

Scout and Cellar sells the 2020 Mixtrack Rosé wine, and it is labeled as being from France. A company rep says Scout and Cellar makes their own wine, except when they don't. They find that it is cheaper to bring the wine from overseas than it is to ship the grapes. So, the Mixtrack Rosé is grown in Provence, imported by a San Francisco concern and bottled in Texas - the company's home base. This wine has really gotten around before you unscrew the cap.

The wine is a blend of 60% Cinsault, 30% Grenache and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. I have to assume that it was made in stainless steel tanks. The alcohol content is 12.8% abv and the retail sticker reads $27.

The back label spins a story of how disco was born in French nightclubs and adopted by audiences in the US. It's not a terribly great back story, if you ask me, and a connection to disco doesn't exactly make my socks roll up and down. Also, the term mixtrack should be mixtape, I believe. But now that they have all the labels printed… what the hell. Let's open it.

This wine colors up as a pretty pink in the glass. Aromas of strawberries - stems and all - are joined by melon and citrus notes. The palate shows a delicate representation of those fruits, with a healthy slap of acidity and minerality. The mouthfeel seems a little fuller than I would expect from Provence, but the weight plays well. The finish is bright and medium long. 

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Monday, June 26, 2023

Pinot And Syrah? That's Life!

The 2020 C'est La Vie wine would seem to be a cousin of Aime La Vie, a Syrah/Grenach blend from France's Languedoc region. C'est La Vie is a slightly more unusual mix, pairing 60% Pinot Noir with 40% Syrah. This Vin de Pays wine - Pays d’Oc - puts Burgundy with the Rhône Valley. Gasp! The blend is something California Pinot Noir makers have been accused of for years - slipping in some Syrah to beef up their Pinot. I have only heard that accusation denied over and over again, so I will let it go and enjoy the real thing.

These Languedoc-Roussillon grapes were vinified and finished in stainless steel containers, not oak, so the fruit gets a chance to shine on its own. C'est La Vie carries alcohol at 13% abv and sells for about $12 in most places.

This is a dark wine. It looks dark, smells dark and tastes dark. The nose brings blackberry, plum, coffee and black tea. There is no oak in the aroma package, or in the flavors. The palate shows dark, earthy fruit as well, with a clean and healthy tannic structure. The finish is not terribly long, but it is juicy and flavorful. 

Friday, June 23, 2023

Sonoma-Cutrer's Salute To Growing Partner Dutton Ranch

Sonoma-Cutrer Director of Winemaking Cara Morrison says the idea for this year's Winemaker's Release series was to kick it off with a salute to longtime growing partner Dutton Ranch. That means the spotlight falls on the 2021 Dutton Ranch Chardonnay.

Members of the Dutton family have been working the land in Sonoma County since the 1880s, about a hundred years longer than the winery has been standing. Today, the family is sustainably farming about 1,200 acres of wine grapes in the Russian River Valley, Green Valley, and Sonoma Coast appellations. The grapes for the 2021 Sonoma-Cutrer Winemaker's Release Dutton Ranch Chardonnay came from the RRV - the Gerboth and Alpers vineyards - and were estate bottled at the winery.

The grapes were whole-cluster pressed and the wine was fermented in a mix of new and used French oak barrels, then aged in them on the lees for ten months. The wine underwent full malolactic fermentation, for the creamy mouthfeel. Winemaker Mick Schroeter puts his signature on the back label. The wine carries alcohol at 14.2% abv and retails for $40.  

This wine has a clean looking greenish gold tint to it. The nose is beautiful, with notes of ripe peaches and nectarines along with some buttered bread. There is a citrus angle, too, with plenty of minerality. The citrus leads the way on the palate and there is a healthy dose of fresh acidity to go along with it. The buttery note lingers on the finish, which is lengthy and satisfying. 

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

A Roaring Good Paso Cab

Proprietors Georges and Daniel Daou, of DAOU Vineyards in Paso Robles, credit their mountain home with being able to "turn mere raindrops and roots into extraordinary wines—and into lasting relationships."

They say their terroir is a very rare soil, calcareous clay, the same type found in Saint-Émilion and the right bank of Bordeaux.  The limestone subsoil, they say, is perfect for growing Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux varieties.  They boast that it was exactly the soil they were looking for more than a decade ago when they searched around the world for their dream vineyard.

Now known as DAOU Mountain, the land rises to an elevation of 2,200 feet in the hills of the Adelaida District, on the west side of the Paso Robles AVA.  Georges wants to make it clear that he and his brother did not buy a winery - they bought dirt and brought in the passion to unlock its potential.  

That potential is realized in wines like their 2020 vintage of Soul of a Lion. This BDX-style bottling is made of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Cabernet Franc and 10% Petit Verdot. Alcohol is somewhat lofty, at 15.2 abv and the price is up there, too - $150.

This is a very dark wine, in appearance and aroma. The nose explodes with blackberry, blueberry, cassis, clove, tobacco and earth. The palate is mind-blowingly smooth. Blueberry leaps out first, followed by that wonderful chalky note found in Paso Cabs, then anise and other spices. The wine stops short of rustic and stays fully in the elegant region. Tannins are firm yet supple and the acidity is fresh. This is the 10th anniversary of Soul of a Lion, and some years will no doubt work their magic on it. I would love to taste this when the 20th anniversary rolls around. 

Monday, June 19, 2023

Sweet And Innocent - That's Moscato

Sweet wines sometimes get short shrift in the wine-osphere. They are not considered to be "serious" wines and are relegated to also-ran mentions, if not met with out-and-out jokes. But there are plenty of times when a sweet wine - not a dessert wine, but one that is not dry - is just what the sommelier ordered. They serve well as aperitifs, icebreakers at parties, even palate cleansers between courses if you are really fancy. Sweet wines also pair well with spicy dishes.

The 2022 Matteo Soria Moscato d’Asti Cascinetta is made from 100% Moscato Bianco grapes, grown in the Asti Spumante DOCG of Piedmont - specifically in the hills of Langhe-Roero and Monferrato. Alcohol is barely there, at 5% abv. The wine sells for less than $10.

The wine is straw-colored and has a beautiful nose - sweet and floral, with ripe peach and pear notes. The fizziness adds a lively and festive note while the palate brings the same fruit found on the nose. Acidity is decent, but there is more pleasure from the bubbles than the freshness. It's a delicious wine - simple, but sweet and lovely. 

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Friday, June 16, 2023

Blood Of The Vines - Hollywood Sleaze

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 dig deep, for the sleazy side of Hollywood. We also ignore those asking "There’s another side?" and pair appropriate wines with these inappropriate films.

 Hollywood 90028 comes from 1973 to show the soft underbelly of filmmaking - porn. This film makes the Boogie Nights depiction of the porn world seem positively glamorous. A fellow by the name of Mark lands in Hollywood with dreams of becoming a movie cameraman. Things go south for him when the only gainful employment he finds is in the porn industry. A gal by the name of Michele is also riding the skids of her career dreams, on the other end of Mark's lens - which, it turns out, is not a very nice place to be.

Missing out on the career of one's choice doesn't necessarily make one a homicidal killer - but Hollywood 90028 indicates that sometimes it does. Ask Mark, or any of the women with whom he has slept. And try not to yell too loudly at the screen when Michele's turn to go off-camera with him comes around.

Googling "wine" and "porn" together brings some awfully sleazy responses. The website featuring "wine bottle porn videos," I don't want any part of that. However, Sexy Wine Bomb has not only a sleazy name, but a sleazy label, too. They say the flavor stays with you, as will the aroma if you spill it on your shirt.

In 1960's Sex Kittens Go to College, forget the cast - even though it features Mamie Van Doren, Tuesday Weld, John Carradine, Jackie Coogan, Louis Nye, Vampira (not as herself) and Elektro the Robot as Thinko the Robot.  Check out the character names - Admiral Wildcat MacPherson, Legs Raffertino, Woo Woo Grabowski (pretty much his real name) and Tallahassee Tassel Tosser, among them.  That last name is a tipoff that strippers are involved, but don't get too excited unless you have the version which was released to adult theaters, featuring a lengthy dream sequence starring those exotic dancers.  Hollywood sleaze?  You be the judge.

Going with the title pairing, here is a wine for actual kittens: White Kittendel Cat Wine has real catnip in it for $10 a bottle. Hey, if you have that kind of money to throw away, just send it to me. I'll spend it on real alcohol. Oh, a wine pairing, right. Meiomi sounds like something a sexy kitten would say. For twice the price of that catnip, they have a good Chardonnay for sale. Don't give any to your cat.

Star 80 is from the 1980s - the decade of sleaze. The story of a Playboy Playmate's murder at the hand of her husband is ripped from the proverbial headlines by writer/director Bob Fosse. It's an adaptation of the book about Dorothy Stratton's all-too-short life. Yes, it is a disturbing film.

Depending on when you were born, the decade of the '80s could be a fun childhood, an MTV-fueled adolescence, or a bitter disappointment for one who came from an era of better music, better movies and better TV. I'm still working on getting past that. 

Mariel Hemingway is the playmate and Eric Roberts is her sleazy husband. If anyone plays sleaze better than Roberts, please let us know. We may be able to come up with an award for that.

For a nude photo shoot, what better pairing is there than a Naked Wine? The wine club business model promises to put great wines on your doorstep at affordable prices. The various winemakers are mostly small producers who work fully clothed.

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Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Mixing Wine And Fashion

The Donnafugata winery was founded in 1983 by Giacomo Rallo, but there were three generations of winemaking experience before him. A fifth is now helping to create quality wines from five estates of Sicily.

The winery is thrilled by their partnership with the fashion boutique Dolce & Gabbana. Donnafugata has no problem expanding their reach from wine into fashion, just as they have done with art and music.

The 2019 Donnafugata Dolce & Gabbana Tancredi was made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Nero d’Avola and Tannat grapes. The wine came from the Terre Siciliane IGT. Aging took place over 12 months in oak and three years in the bottle. Alcohol hits 14.2% abv and it retails for $48.

The wine is very dark. The nose is quite expressive, with bright blackberry and blueberry aromas drifting in and out of oak spice and wonderful notes of licorice, clove, nutmeg and cinnamon. On the palate, dark fruit bursts forth, with notes of tobacco, spice and earth playing supporting roles. 

Monday, June 12, 2023

Doggin' Around For A Good Rosé

It is, they say, the time of year to drink pink. I like to enjoy pink wine all year long, but I have also worn white pants after Labor Day. With that in mind, here is a rosé from an outfit called Scout and Cellar. The label says Dove Hunt Dog Wine is located in Healdsburg, California. The label also notes that a bottle of wine is more than a bottle of wine, it's a companion. I think that is stretching a point - maybe leaning into alcoholism - but I get that it completely justifies the critter label. Good doggie!

This pink wine is a blend of grapes: 87% Grenache, 8% Syrah and 5% Gamay, from Clarksburg, as I understand it. Alcohol is extremely light at 13.9% abv and the wine is listed at $23 a bottle.

This wine is a very pretty, light salmon color in the glass. Aromas of cherries, strawberries and Meyer lemon leap up on the sniff. It is a fruity nose, and there is a mineral aspect with some salinity, too. On the palate the Grenache shines, ripe as hell. Some raspberry notes come through along with the aforementioned bright red fruit. Acidity is crisp and fresh and the finish lingers quite a while. It's a pretty good wine, especially considering the critter label. 

Friday, June 9, 2023

Blood Of The Vines - Francophilia

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 pair wines from France with movies from France, et pourquoi pas?

Last Year at Marienbad was from the heyday of French New Wave, 1961. Director Alain Resnais created a film which people either loved or hated. Seriously, Marienbad has been called "the best film ever made" and "one of the worst films in history." Surrealists have praised it, so that's a clue. Surrealists simply don't make logical sense. After all, how many surrealists does it take to change a light bulb? A fish.

The story centers on a woman and two men at a fancy hotel. One of the men maintains that he and the woman met the year before at a place just like this, maybe this place. He says she promised to go away with him in a year. She tells him she doesn't know him from Adam and get lost. The other man may be her husband, and he plays math games much better than the first man. It could be all in her mind. It could be all in his mind. Are you ready to consult that surrealist yet?

Marienbad is a dreamscape and has influenced filmmakers from Stanley Kubrick to David Lynch. Or, it's a nightmare and has influenced nobody. Or, we can't know what it is because looking at it changes it. This is what it's like to watch Last Year at Marienbad.

Pairing a wine with this film requires a certain sleight of hand - a wine that is one thing but not what it seems. I want to go with C'est La Vie, a French blend of Pinot Noir and Syrah. Yes, it's Burgundy meets the Rhône - yes it's blasphemous - yes, it's exactly what people have accused California Pinot makers of for years. It's from the south of France and it comes on like a beefy Beaujolais. It's $15, so what have you got to lose?

Mon Oncle Antoine is a French language Canadian film from 1971. A teenage boy works at his uncle's store, living a presumably carefree life as teenagers often do. This was in a time before teenagers were all equipped with skateboards. Nowadays they pass the time with endless scraping, falling and kicking - practicing to become the next Tony Hawk. Back then, the lack of a skateboard meant they had to find other ways to while away the days. Like play. Or work. 

The scenes take place in a town called Asbestos, and you get three guesses what kind of mining fuels the economy. Uplifting, huh? The titular uncle, by the way, is also an undertaker. What fun for a young man - to help his elder gather up dead bodies for burial. At least with all the asbestos around, there should be plenty of business. A kid would be hard pressed to get enough of that kind of life. "And I get to do this every day? Can I have a grape soda after?"

In the process of helping out uncle Antoine, the teen is treated to an up-close-and-personal view of unc's bitterness about the way his life has turned out. To no one's surprise, the child has a series of traumas and is left at the end of the movie to sort them out on his own. C'est la vie. 

Sometimes a winemaker gets a hand from his uncle. Jerome Francois calls his Alsace winery La Grange de l'Oncle Charles - Uncle Charles' barn. When in Alsace, try the Riesling. If you want to stay Canadian, there are plenty of wineries in the Quebec area. Le Cep d'Argent has a variety of them, including the ever-popular ice wine.

We go to 1963 for another scoop of French new wave. Contempt is by Jean-Luc Godard, and is considered by many to be one of his finer works. It is one of those movies about movies. The story revolves around an American producer getting his grubby hands on the script for Fritz Lang's film version of the Odyssey

Before you say, "Oh, not another movie about a reworking of the Odyssey," let me tell you that Contempt actually has Fritz Lang in it. It also has Jean-Luc Godard in it. Wait, there's more. This movie also has Jack Palance in it. Pushups, anyone? And it has Brigette Bardot in it. Say no more. It's French, yes, but it is set in Italy and was filmed there, part of it on Capri. 

There are instances of marital infidelity - that's where the contempt comes in - and some fairly sleazy behavior from a husband who tries to use his wife as a lure in a business deal. More contempt. 

If I could find a French and Italian wine, it would be perfect for Contempt. But alas, there is no such thing of which I know. But why not have one of each? From Bordeaux, try Château Côtes de Blaignan, the 2016 Cru Bourgeois gives us a taste of that gravelly soil in Médoc for 30 bucks. From Italy, get a Barolo. Kirkland Signature Barolo is made by a big name producer and sold for $20 or so, not $50, at Costco. 

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Beautiful Chardonnay In A Can

Simply Cutrer is the entry into the world of canned wine for Sonoma-Cutrer. It is, quite simply, California Chardonnay in a can. It tastes just as good as the Sonoma-Cutrer Chardonnay you know and love in a bottle, but it is way more convenient. The wine carries an alcohol level of 13.9% abv and it retails at $20 for a four-pack of 250ml cans. Sonoma-Cutrer's Chardonnay Winemaker Cara Morrison says "Simply Cutrer was made with summer sipping in mind."

This pale golden wine has a beautiful nose which offers honeydew, peaches and citrus aromas. There is also evidence of the oak treatment, with vanilla and caramel notes playing lightly into the package. On the palate it is a full mouthfeel, rich and creamy. The oak spice comes through, but again does not get in the way of the fruit. Acidity is fresh and lively, enough so that shrimp or lobster can be on the menu - or any fish dish, really, especially in a creamy sauce.

Monday, June 5, 2023

Bold Israeli Wine

Shiloh Winery is an Israeli winemaking outfit, one that prides itself in producing high quality wines for the Jewish community. They use the bull in their logo, the symbol of the tribe of Joseph. They quote King David: "Wine gladdens the heart of man." They like to think that their wines are perfect for "welcoming the Sabbath or bidding it farewell, celebrating holidays or special occasions, or elevating a simple meal."

The grapes for the 2019 Shiloh Petite Sirah were grown in the Judean Hills and crafted by Shiloh's winemaker Amichai Lurie. The wine was aged for 18 months in French oak barrels and vinified to an alcohol content of 15.5%. The retail price is $41.

This wine is very dark in color and bombastic on the nose and palate. Aromas of ripe, dark fruit burst forth, accompanied by earth notes and oak spice that was maybe a little heavy-handed. Still, it's a party on its own. Flavors of blackberry, plum, blueberry, licorice and clove are as muscular as one would expect from the grape. The huge finish lasts quite some time. 

Friday, June 2, 2023

Blood Of The Vines - Lost Indies With Patton Oswalt

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 examine a trio of "lost indies" with funny man Patton Oswalt. 

I am happy to see Patton Oswalt as a TFH guru. I have always thought he was a funny guy, even when my wife's phone played the start of the same joke from one of his standups every time her device connected with our car. It was something like, "I'm ah, so hungry…" which is where we hit pause and continued to whatever it was that we wanted to listen to at the time. We never learned how to keep that from happening, so we heard over and over how Patton was "so hungry." I felt a trace of sadness when the phone decided instead to start playing an Aretha Franklin Christmas song upon connecting. We had a lot more laughs from Patton talking about food than we've had from Aretha singing about angels. Will we get even more laughs from his views on movies? Let's see.

Private Property - the one from 1960, not 2022 - was pretty racy for its day. The film was rated C, for condemned, by the Catholic Legion of Decency. It is the group's least complimentary rating. People I know who went to Catholic schools tell me that they kept an eye out for "condemned" movies in the Legion's newsletter. Those were the films everyone wanted to see.

Director and screenwriter Leslie Stevens considered himself an auteur, and one of America's only New Wave filmmakers. His love of Truffaut and Welles shows through in the way he shot the film, although some critics called his framing "unsettling." What could be even more unsettling is that Stevens had previously brought The Outer Limits and Stoney Burke to the small screen. How's that for artsy?

Stevens had worked with Warren Oates before, and must have enjoyed the experience, as Oates costars in Private Property. He also had cast Kate Manx in other productions, which was nice of him because she was his wife. 

The film actually was a "lost indie," whereabouts unknown for years until it was discovered and restored less than a decade ago. 

The film follows a couple of shady characters named Duke and Boots. You're already drooling and rubbing your hands together, aren't you? They stalk a pretty woman - simply named Ann - and try to get a relationship going with her, however tawdry it is. A relationship that results in multiple people getting shot can generally be considered a flop. The movie did okay, though. The film made money. Critics grumbled about the sex while admitting it was arty, which is like saying you buy Playboy for the articles.

Private Property Rosé is from Caraccioli Cellars in Monterey County, or actually from the youngest generation of the family. The label is son Scott's project, and he gets to use Pinot Noir grapes from the Caraccioli estate. It may be sold out now, no surprise since it sells for just $18.

Frownland won praise at SXSW in 2007, but never really got on its feet in general release. Maybe the distribution was bad, but maybe an hour and 45 minutes of unrelenting negative emotions was more than the ticket-buying public could take. I mean there we were, still slapping our knees over "Mission Accomplished," and here comes this basket of rotten fruit. 

One interesting note: the movie takes its name from a Captain Beefheart song. CB suffered from multiple sclerosis, while the social outcast in the film spends his working days ripping off MS patients. Like the songwriter, we are left to sing, "I cannot go back to your Frownland."

We can pair just about any wine with Frownland, since wine generally turns that frown upside down. Smile is a Paso Robles Viognier/Chenin Blanc blend which should take the edge off of a movie which is even this much of a downer. While watching, maybe you can drunk dial some funds to the MS Foundation. 

Coherence is an odd title - the 2013 thriller seems to be anything but coherent.

Strange happenings occur in a northern California town when a comet passes close to the earth. Remember Comet Kohoutek in 1973? I sure do, and there were plenty of strange occurrences in my life at that time. There is no evidence that those occurrences were caused by the comet, but why not? There were strange occurrences in the years surrounding Comet Kohoutek, as well, both before and after. My life at that time was not exactly a standard of stability. Maybe those NoCalians can say the same.

Their experience of parallel universes goes a step or two farther than my comet time. In fact, the story sounds a lot like something one would dream up while high, then have trouble believing when the drugs had worn off. 

A wine pairing for Coherence could be one from a comet vintage. Some folks - probably those biodynamic people - believe that when a comet comes around right before a harvest, that the wine from that harvest will be exceptional. They say 1811 was a particularly strong year, so good luck with that. An 1811 Chateau d’Yquem - a dessert style Sauternes - will run a person north of $100,000, so maybe you want to watch the movie first before throwing that kind of money at a pairing.

For a little more reasonable taste, try Comet Winery in Santa Rosa. Their reds range from $50 to $100. Their website, by the way, shows ghostly images of wine bottles with no labels or no words on the labels. A strange happening.   

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