Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Blood Of The Vines - Happy Halloween

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 will find three scary wines to pair with three scary movies. No need to overthink this one.

'Tis the season to be scary. On October 31, when the sun, goes to rest, that's when drivers have to be extra careful not to run over the ghosts and goblins in the street. That's my POV as an adult, anyway.

Call me a spoilsport, but Halloween hasn't really meant that much to me since I was old enough to go outside without my parents. As a kid, it was all about the candy, that's about it. The Goobers, the Peanut Butter Cups, the Milk Duds, the Butterfingers, and of course, those delicious Candy Corn triangles, harvest editions with the brown middles. When I was old enough to use a knife without my parents' supervision, I cut them into their separate colors. Boy, was I disappointed to find that all the colors tasted exactly alike.

Then, as I got older and presumably wiser, Halloween became a time for those parties where the gals dressed as sexy witches. I only went to those parties for the costumes. And the candy corn.

Now, as an old guy, Halloween means seeing all those evergreen blog posts about which wines to pair with your kids' Halloween candy. They are so useless, those blog posts. I mean, it's Prosecco with candy corn, right? Apothic Dark with the chocolate stuff. Hey, that was easy. I could do this wine pairing thing for a living. 

Halloween has always been a time for scary movies.  What was the Friday night freakshow called on your local TV station? Thriller? Chiller Channel? Fright Night? Hankerin' For Horror? Whatever it was, there's a good chance it was hosted by the same guy who did the weather and Dialing For Dollars on the station.

It was 1978, on a dark and stormy October night, when John Carpenter unleashed Halloween into the world. It was popular, to say the least. The film spawned a dozen or so sequels, prequels and requels, while establishing the slasher film as a genuine genre and a goldmine for satirists. 

Donald Pleasence got the role of Dr. Loomis, after it was kicked to the curb by both Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. Lee later said passing on the gig was the biggest mistake of his career. Jamie Lee Curtis starred as the stalked pretty girl, a must-have in any slasher movie worth its blood. Carpenter reportedly said that she was cast even before he knew that her mom, Janet Leigh, starred in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. That family link proved to be a bonanza for the PR department.

What is a scared movie watcher supposed to drink while watching Halloween? Final Girl Wines is a tribute to the last girl standing in a slasher film. They have a great line of interesting wines made in Santa Barbara County. The silhouette of the girl on the label has a chainsaw in her hands, but she'll do just fine for Halloween. 

The slashing continued in 1986 with Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives. There are a boatload of movies in this series, each one fully deserving of a big bowl of popcorn and a nice red wine. 

In this one, our hero accidentally resurrects Jason. I guess we are all well acquainted enough that we can be on a first name basis with Mr. Voorhees. If you are asking yourself how one accidentally resurrects a dead serial killer, you may have watched too many of the Friday the 13th series. Just go with it. 

Put on your hockey mask and get set for the selection offered by Crystal Lake Wines in Oregon. They have a variety of what they call "fan wines" for the Friday the 13th series. One is named after a fan movie, Jason Rising. You'll be comforted to know that there is no dead serial killer at the bottom of the bottle. 

The 1991 horror/comedy There's Nothing Out There attempts to satirize the horror genre. It does so with a story about alien frogs who come to earth to mate with pretty earth girls. That's the same reason many people use for moving to Hollywood. 

Critics of the day felt that the satire was okay, the horror was okay, but the execution was a little sophomoric. The film has been compared to 1996's Scream, sometimes favorably, but Scream got a lot more laughs and made a lot more money.

Well, this wine pairing has no horror in it, but it is hard to avoid. Arrogant Frog bills itself as "one of the most internationally known French wine brands." That may be so, as the name alone would tend to get a lot of attention. But, as they say on sports TV, "C'mon, man!" You may be French wine, but you were still on a Costco shelf going for 8 bucks American. 

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