Wine Pair Your WayTo Bliss
There is nothing quite like snuggling under the blankets, on your couch, with your laptop balanced precariously on you stomach, and a glass of wine somewhere well within arm’s reach. Maybe you call it, “relaxing after a long day of work,” maybe you call it, “me time.” Regardless the title, there’s no questioning that true feeling of bliss. Trust me, this wine connoisseur and movie junkie-at-large would know.
I started drinking wine at age 12. My father figured it was best to teach and monitor me in the safety of our home. I, on the other hand, was just grapeful (see what I did there?). He was open-minded and I was lucky. Little by little, I built my tolerance, and honed my palette. Drinking to get drunk? Oh, honey, that’s what beer’s for.
I like to think of wine as this delicate and sophisticated drink that enhances emotions. Happy? A Riesling will do. Brooding? Try a Pinot Noir. There is little in the world wine can’t fix or make better.
Debating whether or not to Netflix and Chill? With these wine pairings I’ve put together Netflix and Wine might just be your better and more dependable bet.
Rotten Tomatoes: 77 %
Synopsis: What better way to drink than to drink to a documentary about Sommeliers? Centered around the extremely difficult Master Sommelier examination—a test with one of the lowest pass rates in the world—the film follows the lives of Ian Cauble, Dustin Wilson, Lynn Proctor, and Brian McClintic, four sommeliers who are nervously preparing for their three-part (theory, taste, and service) exam. To give the difficulty some context, only 230 people have been recognized as Master Sommeliers in the past 39 years. A wide range of studying tactics are employed throughout the story. Color-coding wine regions, making absurd amounts of flashcards, and Skyping at 2:30 a.m. for mock quizzes makes all other standardized testing look like child’s play.
Best paired with: a nice bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon. The rich, full-bodied taste—a metaphoric nod to the depth of the exam—plus or minus a chunk of steak or two, will help keep your eyes glued to your screen as you anticipate the results.
Rotten Tomatoes: 87 %
Synopsis: A mystery drama directed and scored by Clint Eastwood, the movie stars Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon, Laurence Fishbone, Marcia Gay Harden, Laura Linney and a cast of extremely talented actors and actresses. A story about friendship and retribution, Jimmy (Sean Penn) seeks out his daughter’s killer. Guns are pointed, fires are shot, and relationships are questioned. What does it mean to be a friend?
Best paired with: a couple glasses of Syrah. The rich flavors of black-fruit coupled with overtones of spice make this hearty red the perfect go-to drink. The abundance of fruit sensations complemented by warm alcohol and gripping tannins will certainly mimic all of the movie’s emotional feels.
Rotten Tomatoes: 92 %
Synopsis: Ah, the golden age of the porn industry. When Eddie Adams (Marky Mark), a high school dropout, makes it big as “Dirk Diggler,” his life changes. Officially the adult industry’s leading man and prized possession, Diggler lands role after coveted role thanks to his good looks and large size. Life, however, takes a turn for the worst when Diggler falls off his pedestal. Addicted to cocaine without the income to sustain it, he dabbles in prostitution, and later acting. Funny and not funny. Shallow and simultaneously deep.
Best paired with: a big glass of Sauvignon Blanc. With dominating flavors that range anywhere from green apples, to melons and mangos, the bright aromas and strong acid finishes are a true testament to the ups and downs of Diggler’s life.
The Shawshank Redemption
Rotten Tomatoes: 91 %
Synopsis: When people use “shawshank” as a verb, they are often referring to banker Andy Dufresne’s incredible escape from prison. Living out two life sentences for the murder of his wife and her lover at the Shawshank State Penitentiary, Dufresne (Tim Robbins) befriends fellow inmate “Red” (Morgan Freeman). Together they begin a money-laundering operation from behind bars.
Best paired with: two glasses of Pinot Noir—one for Dufresne and the other for Red. Harvested from one of the noblest red grapes (difficult to grow and blended without roughness), the wine speaks volume of the delicate and fresh nature of life confined.
Buen día, Ramón
Rotten Tomatoes: 100 %
Synopsis: When a young man travels from a small town in Mexico to Germany in search for a better life and a means to support his family, the last thing he needs is to be left stranded without shelter or money. As life would have it, that’s exactly what happens to Ramón. The generosity he ultimately receives from Ruth, a lonely senior citizen with whom he develops an astonishing friendship that transcends borders and prejudices, reminds us—heartwarmingly, of course—that there is still good in the world.
Best paired with: a bottle of Merlot. Known as the “introductory” wine, Merlot is both soft and round. Easily paired with anything and everything, the drink reminds us that the world has no room for discrimination.
The Princess Bride
Rotten Tomatoes: 97 %
Synopsis: Set to marry Prince Humperdinck, Buttercup is kidnapped by a trio of bandits the day before her wedding. Yearning for her one true love, Westley, whom she believes died at the hands of Dread Pirate Roberts, Buttercup laments her future. A wild goose chase ensues when it is soon revealed that the trio of bandits was hired by none other than Prince Humperdinck himself as a ploy to wage war with his rival country. Who is dead, who is alive?
Best paired with: Riesling—however much you desire. Fresh in flavor, Riesling is also light-hearted in nature—much like the narrative of the love story.
We Need to Talk About Kevin
Rotten Tomatoes: 76 %
Synopsis: This suspenseful psychological thriller explores the concept of nature versus nurture. What makes a killer? Eva (Tilda Swinton) grapples with the difficulties of motherhood and the travesty her teenaged son, Kevin, has committed. Looking back on all the memories of him growing up, she questions the many signs she ignored. Is she to blame for playing an active role in allowing his innate evilness? Could she have done something differently?
Best paired with: a bottle of Chardonnay. The wider, velvety body of the wine boasts hints of toasty and creamy characters. Often hidden behind those textures are hints of melon, vanilla, and citrus fruit flavors. What makes a Chardonnay? What makes a person?