Movies and wine pairing: A match made in Hollywood

Jacqueline Zonkowski
Lifestyle grey Dot

A debate over our favorite movies and what wine to pair?

Maybe, but we can all agree that the perfect glass of wine always pairs well with a classic. For the wine lovers out there, here are our favorite films and wine that you might enjoy pairing with them.

Jaws and rosé

Everyone probably thought I was going with a Cab Franc or Petit Syrah, a deep red wine; nope, too easy. Jaws is one of my favorite movies, and when I see it on TV, I know what I’m doing for the next 2+ hours. A young Richard Dreyfuss, 4th of July, a mayor who’s more concerned with money than his constituents, and a killer shark! What could be better? I probably find myself watching Jaws at least five times a year, and 4 of those times are situated right around the 4th of July. This is why rosé is my choice for Jaws. I know rosé is an all-year-round wine, but there’s just something about that crisp pink elixir that sends those summer feelings through my body as a great movie and wine pairing.

Love Actually and Chenin Blanc

Love Actually is a great excuse to keep those happy holiday feelings all year long! Just a feel-good classic, and when the Prime Minister, Hugh Grant, dances his way through 10 Downing Street, my heart flutters with joy. I have paired Love Actually with a crisp California white wine like Chenin Blanc. With a movie set around the holidays in flurry-filled London, Chenin Blanc is a perfect cold-weather white with flavors and aromatics of pear, chamomile, and honeysuckle. Pair it with a big bowl of popcorn, and you won’t be able to help feeling like “Christmas is all around me, and so the feeling grows” — If you’ve seen the movie, you’ll get it.

The Holiday and Merlot

The visual of Rosehill Cottage in the snow with both chimneys pouring out smoke from the fires roaring inside, I’m not sure there is a better time for a dark red wine than right here. You can almost picture yourself cuddled up in the cottage near the fire with a good book and a glass of Merlot with hints of plum, chocolate, and vanilla dancing on your tongue. It’s as if you’ve been transported to another place and can hardly hear poor Iris weeping in the kitchen after being spurned by that horrific Jasper. But, like an excellent Washington state Merlot, love can be complex, and fortunately for Iris, it can even help begin mending broken hearts until that special someone comes along. Thank goodness for the Santa Ana winds.

Crazy Rich Asians and Blanc de Noirs

If the scene where Peik Lin is driving Rachel up the ‘driveway’ to Nick’s grandmother’s house doesn’t make you want to pop a bottle of bubbly, I don’t think anything will. The astounding view of the palatial estate set atop a picturesque mountain in Singapore possesses all of the elegance and grace of a Blanc de Noirs. A sparkling wine made from only black grapes like Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. This citrusy wine has a clean, crisp finish and hints of apple, lemon, and honey. Nick’s mother could use a glass; she really needs to chill out. Maybe a trip to Oregon wine country for a Pacific Northwest sparkling wine is in order!

Gladiator and Grenache

Set in ancient Rome, Gladiator is an epic story full of betrayal, murder, revenge, one of the most epic reveals in cinematic history and action — lots of action! A period piece that takes you back to 180 AD and has incredible CGI recreations of still-visible ruins and a fully intact Coliseum that are simply awe-inspiring on the big screen. If you’re wondering why I chose a wine that originated in Spain and not Italy, the answer is simple. When Maximus is a Gladiator in the arena, he is adoringly referred to as ‘The Spaniard.’ So, when he turns to Emperor Commodus and removes his helmet and says, “My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North,” I will begin a long sip of a robust Washington state red wine like Grenache before I erupt in exalted cheering as he finishes with, “And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.”

Hopefully, these suggestions will get you started, but let us know when you find your favorite movie and wine pairing!

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About Jacqueline Zonkowski

As an avid traveler, Jacqueline started finding herself in popular wine regions around the world, fueling her passion for food and wine. When she isn't traveling you will find her at home with a glass of wine in hand and a smile on her face while tasting new recipes with her Chef husband. She received her WSET Level II Certification with Distinction, Argentina Wine Specialist, and Oregon Wine Expert certifications. Jacqueline has worked in the wine marketing and hospitality industry for many years. She continues to increase her wine knowledge and looks forward to creating her own wine one day.