Showing posts with label Joe Dante. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Joe Dante. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Blood Of The Vines

If ever there was a movie that deserved a wine pairing, 1957's "From Hell It Came" would be the one.  In fact, something stronger might be in order to make this "walking tree" movie bearable.  Chief Trailers From Hell guru Joe Dante points out in his commentary on the trailer, it's probably one of the worst movies of the 1950s.  Dante notes, that when "a long shot of a stick falling over is considered worthy of being included in the trailer, it goes to show there's not a lot (of action) to choose from."  Maybe the stick just had a little too much wine.

Forget the plot - the monster is a tree.  What more do we need to know?  The talking trees in "The Wizard of Oz" were not only scarier, they probably had more screen time - and more action.  Dante cites one reviewer who commented that, since the tree came from Hell, it may as well go back there.   It can't be coincidence that the Trailers From Hell blog goes under the name "From Hell It Came."

The natural wine pairing for a movie featuring a walking tree monster is Twisted Oak Wineryin California's Calaveras County.  Their Rhone blend called *%#&@! (rhymes with "What the *%#&@!") is perfect, since that may well be what you're saying by fifteen minutes into this 
picture.  It's an $18 bottle, which may seem expensive considering the quality of the movie.

Branching out for some other wine choices:

d'Arenberg Stump Jump Shiraz McLaren Vale 2008 - The stump jump plough was invented to clear land peppered with scrub brush stumps.  Your mileage on "walking tree" stumps may vary.  $9

Black Stump Wines - Australian for "the middle of nowhere," black stump is also a neat descriptor for the monster in "From Hell It Came.".

Hells Canyon Winery - A boutique winery in Idaho's Snake River Valley, their Seven Devils Red is actually anything but hellish.

Hell Hole Semillon - From Meerea Park Wines in Australia's Hunter Valley, this refreshing white was no doubt named by those who harvest the grapes in this warm climate region.  Be careful which tree you seek for shade.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Waiter at Musso and Frank

The Maitre d' at Musso and Frank Grill suggested our party might enjoy the Chaplin booth in the venerable, old-Hollywood eatery.  Old, as in Chaplin used to sit in that booth.

It's not that my fame as a wine scribbler preceded me.  We were awarded the choice booth because notable film director and Trailers From Hell head guru Joe Dante was in our party, and he was duly noted as we walked in.  Joe's been a regular at Musso and Frank during his illustrious career.

It wasn't my first brush with fame, though.  During my time as a Los Angeleno I've had lunch with Reba - in the same restaurant, anyway.  I've seen Magic getting out of his limo at a Sunset Strip steakhouse I can't afford.  I've chatted with James Coburn at a party.  He had no idea who I was.  Henry Winkler, too, different party.  I was a plus-one at a party thrown by Harvey Levin, pre-TMZ.  No papparazzi were present.  Once, I was almost knocked over by Ed Begley, Jr. as he ripped past me on a bicycle.  Oh yeah, I've had my brushes with fame.

Frei Brothers ChardonnayAfter a bit of conversation about the Blood Of The Vines feature I write for Joe's blog, From Hell It Came, the talk turned to pictures.  That's when I settled back into my normal life, sniffing and sipping and poking out notes on my iPhone while taking pictures of the wine on the table.  Fortunately, the people I hang out with are rather used to that sort of behavior from me.

During the course of the evening, our red-jacketed server brought two wines to me.  Both were white, as that's the kind of mood I was in on this night.

First up was the Frei Brothers Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2009.

This Sonoma County wine is a beautiful golden color and shows tropical fruit and lemon chess pie on the nose.  The flavors - mango and minerals leading the way - rest on a gentle acidity that leads to a pineapple finish.

Kim Crawford Sauvignon BlancNew Zealand's Kim Crawford Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is quite pale in the glass.  The nose gives a beautiful show of grapefruit and lemon peel with a grassy underlay.  On the palate, white grapefruit makes a huge statement, while minerals play a supporting role.

The evening was wonderful, full of great people, great wine and great conversation, all in the best booth in the place.

Follow Randy Fuller on Twitter.

Monday, May 23, 2011


Blood of the Vines

Now And Zin is pleased to announce a new series of wine articles in conjunction with

The series is called “Blood Of The Vines,” and each Thursday on the Trailers From Hell blog, From Hell It Came, and the Now And Zin Wine Blog, Randy Fuller presents a wine and movie pairing - in tongue-in-cheek fashion.

In case you don’t know about Trailers From Hell, it’s the brainchild of film director Joe Dante.  On the site, Joe and other movie “gurus” screen movie trailers and add some personal comments about the films in question.  It’s highly entertaining, and highly addictive.  Browse the library of titles and see for yourself - betcha can’t watch just one!

Many of the movie gurus are wine lovers as well as film lovers, so this pairing of two different parts of the blogosphere came easily.  We hope you find the pairings entertaining, too.

Trailers From Hell began as a haven for horror movie fans, hence the hellish blood references and preponderance of horror movie titles in the trailer library.  Over time, the site has broadened to include other types of Hollywood offerings besides the horror genre.  It is there, though - in monsters and mayhem - where the roots of Trailers From Hell remain.

Now And Zin has dabbled in mixing wine and movies before - “never mix, never worry” - and we’re starting to get a taste for it.  We’d love for you to check out “Blood Of The Vines” on the Now And Zin Wine Blog or the Trailers From Hell blog, From Hell It Came, as wine goes to the movies.