Wines, like movies, gain reputation by recommendation, but can only be truly enjoyed through your own experience. Friends could tell you how scary JAWS was, but you can only fully appreciate it when you have seen it yourself. You may have heard how breathtaking are the visuals of The Lord of the Rings, but until you have actually traveled with the Hobbits through your TV screen you won’t be able to appreciate the cinematic genius. The same goes for wine – you will never know how amazingly fruit forward and easily drinkable Jessup Cellars’ Table for Four really is until you have tried it for yourself. Your friends can tell you how well Petite Sirah pairs with braised short ribs, but to appreciate the decadent richness you must open a bottle and braise some yourself. You will not be able to understand the sheer joy of Sauvignon Blanc paired with manchego cheese and quince paste unless you recreate the pairing tomorrow evening on the patio. You must experience wine to make your own memories, and you must immerse yourself in a movie to do the same.
I remember my first movie theater experience like it was yesterday. The cushioned “velvet” covered chair, my shoes sticking lightly to the floor, the smell of popcorn and sweet treats pervading the air. Suddenly the lights go dim….then dark. A rustle of anticipation as everyone moves to get comfortable in their seats. The clicking of the projector begins faintly in the background, followed by the crackling pop of the sound system jumping to life. And then, THE MOVIE starts! As I greedily suck up every last drop of soda through my straw, images of beauty and horror, drama and action, stories the likes of which I have never seen unfold in front of my wondering eyes. I was enthralled, enamored…. One might say in love… with film. Even today, in the digital age of stadium seating and cineplexes, a trip to the cinema on date night is still a special experience.
Likewise, I remember the first bottle of wine that made me fall in love with… well… wine. 3 weeks into an open-ended move to a foreign country and homesick. Luckily, some new acquaintances decided to share a special bottle of Napa Valley wine with “the American” in hopes of cheering me up. They drew the cork on that bottle of Cabernet with infinite care, laid it aside and poured me the taste of honor…. Oh. My. Goodness. I can still taste the smooth acids and rich fruit of that 1997 Vine Cliff Cabernet Sauvignon. The silky feel of the wine, and the way it filled my mouth and made my tastebuds burst. Memories surfaced of walking to school during harvest, the smell of fermentation and the crisp feel autumn in the air, another of a glass of wine enjoyed during lunch on the Auberge terrace, overlooking the valley. Suddenly, I wanted to know more. I wanted to dig deeper, find out why it tasted like it did, and what the nuances were. What was the winemaker thinking and where are these vineyards? And in that moment, privately, wine became a passion, not a beverage.
These days, we are watching more and more films from the comfort of our own living rooms, pairing our love of cinema with our love of wine. Big screen TVs and Blu-Ray DVDs make it easy to stay in. We can watch our favorite films over and over, a glass of wine in hand, laughing every time Bill Murray gets covered with slime (Ghost Busters is definitely a Chardonnay or Pinot flick), crying when you think Clark Gable really doesn’t give a damn (This is a long one… try Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Cabernet with Gone with the Wind. In that order. ), cheering when Daniel Radcliff vanquishes Lord Voldemort and his throng (Harry Potter=Zinfandel or Port).
But what if you could travel and experience both wine and movies in a place like the Napa Valley, home to legends of the stage and screen as well as some of the most renowned winemakers on the planet? Well, you can. Jessup Cellars is proud to be a supporter of the budding Napa Valley Film Festival, and we are looking forward to pairing our superb wines with some amazing dramas, documentaries and shorts. Taking place November 9th through the 13th 2011, the NVFF has come together with some of the valley’s most spectacular wine producers and food purveyors to create a weekend of memorable experiences. From special sneak-peek screenings to Q&A’s with film makers, from galas to tastings to super-elite after parties where you can hobnob with the people behind the scenes, the Napa Valley Film Festival is promising to be “An Affair to Remember.” Head over to their website at www.napavalleyfilmfest.org for information on ticketing and events.
For now, check out these movie and wine pairings from our staff, and remember to experience life for yourself!
“Father of the Bride” (the Steve Martin version) with Merlot – Cristy
“Evil Dead 2” with Petite Sirah – Bob
“Dan in Real Life” with Cabernet (Specifically the Jessup Cellars 2006 Cabernet!) – Erin
“Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back” with Petite Sirah – Tracy
“A League of Their Own” with Pinot Grigio
“Billy Madison” with Rosé – Stephanie
“Get Him to the Greek” with Cabernet – Christina
“Inception” with a Bordeaux Blend – Danielle
“A Walk in the Clouds” with Zinfandel – Bernardo
“Das Boot” with Dry Riesling – Bob
“Shawshank Redemption” with Pinot Noir – Eddie
“The Bird Cage” with Sauvignon Blanc – Danielle
“Pineapple Express” with Jessup NV Pinot – Tracy
“The Abyss” with Cabernet – Charlie
“Spies Like Us” with Zinfandel – Blake
How about yours?