Wine's greatest moments on film
A glass of wine and a movie go hand in hand. Actually, I’m pretty sure a night on the couch watching flicks with your bestie, lover, dog or cat is what people do in heaven. Choose movies with epic wine scenes and you’ve got yourself a party.
Here are some of the grape’s greatest movie moments to get you started:
Alfred Hitchcock’s early work is often overshadowed by that famous shower scene in Psycho but a round of applause must go to the director for the inspired opening scene of silent film, Champagne. Starting a movie with the (silent) pop of a cork and glass of Champagne is certainly one way to start wine-infused movie night.
Serving suggestion: Best served with a coupe of France’s best.
Fiddler on the Roof (1971)
Sure, musicals aren’t for everyone but what about a musical featuring men performing a dance routine with wine bottles balanced on their hats? The wine bottle dance scene of multiple Academy Award-winning Fiddler on the Roof demands repeat viewings.
Serving suggestion: A trophied movie deserves to be watched with a trophied wine.
Silence of the Lambs (1991)
No one has been able to look at Chianti the same way since Hannibal Lecter associated it with feasting on human flesh in Silence of the Lambs. Played by Sir Anthony Hopkins, cannibal serial killer and all time worst dinner party date Hannibal Lecter famously quips, “I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.”
Serving suggestion: Celebrate the dry Italian red’s movie cameo with a glass of Chianti and strong, hard cheese like parmesan.
This road trip movie through California’s wine country perfectly captures what it means to be a wine-obsessive and ran away with a stack of awards in the process. It also kicked off a surge in popularity for pinot noir thanks to this heartfelt monologue delivered by Paul Giamatti:
“It’s a hard grape to grow. As you know. Right? It’s, uh, it’s thin-skinned, temperamental, ripens early. It’s, you know, it’s not a survivor like cabernet, which can just grow anywhere and thrive even when it’s neglected. No, pinot needs constant care and attention. You know? And, in fact, it can only grow in these really specific, little tucked-away corners of the world. And only the most patient and nurturing of growers can do it, really. Only somebody who really takes the time to understand pinot’s potential can then coax it into its fullest expression. Then, I mean, oh its flavours. They’re just the most haunting and brilliant and thrilling and subtle and ancient on the planet.”
Serving suggestion: Get in the mood by watching this one with your mate and a bottle of pinot of course.
A Good Year (2006)
You may believe that the words ‘romantic comedy’ and ‘Russell Crowe’ don’t belong in the same sentence, however six years after playing Maximus Decimus Meridius in Gladiator, Rusty traded his blood-soaked sword for a wine glass to make A Good Year. Playing a cynical banker who inherits a vineyard in Provence (don’t you hate it when that happens?), this paint-by-numbers rom com has all the hallmarks of a lazy rainy day movie. The plot may be predictable but you also get a bespectacled, sweater-wearing Rusty (Rustic Rusty if you will) in his prime, pouring bottle after bottle of wine amid lingering shots of sun-drenched vines, ramshackle farmhouses and other French Provincial loveliness.
Serving suggestion: Watch with an imported French chardy and some goat’s cheese.
Midnight in Paris (2011)
While not a movie you’d immediately associate with wine, so many scenes of this intoxicating love letter to Paris are infused with fine French drops. After inexplicably time travelling to Paris in the 1920s, American screenwriter and accidental decade-hopper Gil (played by Owen Wilson) shares a bottle of red with Salvador Dali (as you do), another bottle of red with Ernest Hemingway and some fizz with Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald at a cool-as-hell party.
Serving suggestion: This movie is best enjoyed with a red from Bordeaux. Just don’t go all Hemingway on us and start challenging strangers to fight, okay?
The Leo Trifecta
Nobody raises a glass quite like Leonardo DiCaprio does and Titanic (1997), The Great Gatsby (2013) and The Wolf of Wall Street (2014) contain three of Leo’s greatest on-screen toasts. May he continue to toast his way through movies until he’s old and crusty and up for a lifetime achievement award. Which of course, he’ll raise a glass to with trademark panache.