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From Alien to Gangster: Pair your film with the right wine

The Godfather

Feature by Jack Foley

ENJOYING a great film with an even better bottle of wine is a classic way to spend an evening. Due to the huge range of different stories and themes in play, you’ll find that not all wines suit all films.

Sometimes you want a wine that’s a bit more lively to suit a bubbly comedy or one that’s more intriguing to the senses, mirroring the unravelling of a complex plot.

One of the best ways to experience the range of movie-wine experiences is to explore different wines and film genres. Nowadays, it’s as simple as pressing a few buttons to find thousands of movies through online streaming services, just as it’s easy to get a fine selection of award-winning and unique wines sent to your door each month.

Given the potential of these subscription services combined, you could soon find yourself as the leading wine connoisseur/movie buff of your group.

So, let’s get started by exploring a few great films and the right wines to pair them with to enhance your viewing and drinking experience.

Under the Skin: Sauvignon Blanc

Under The Skin is one of those movies where a big-name Hollywood actor decides to take on a more off-beat role. The main selling point of the film to most movie-goers is that it stars Scarlett Johansson as an alien, but its underlying themes and its story are intriguing and important in the modern day.

Heavy on artsy cinematics and low in dialogue, the science-fiction film is intriguing while also offering, but not forcing, feminist undertones through its protagonist and her role as a predator and watcher of human males.

The film defies convention, challenges your expectations of a science-fiction movie, and certainly puts your mind to work, all while actually being a pretty good watch. For this, you’ll want to grab yourself a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc. But not just any: you’ll want the peculiarly lovely flavours of a South African Sauvignon Blanc as it too defies convention while also being rather pleasant.

Colette: Port

Going under the radar, somewhat, at the time and not making it to our favourite films of 2018 list, Colette is a great biographical drama starring Keira Knightley and Dominic West.

Rather well received by critics, many praised Knightley for her performance, but what makes this film great is the dynamic between the veteran author played by West and the aspiring, stern character of Knightley.

It goes into the challenges of writing, West taking the credit for Knightley’s work, and the various affairs that the two engage in throughout their relationship. Both British leads come out with some sumptuously brilliant lines to add flecks of British comedy to the entertaining drama. To immerse yourself in the 19th-century setting, the stars, and the events of the film, you’ll want to turn to a damn good Port wine.

The Godfather: Chianti

Winning Oscars for Best Picture, Best Actor for Marlon Brando – who refused the award due to the poor treatment of Native Americans in the film industry – and Best Adapted Screenplay, at the Academy Awards, the movie has gone on to be discussed as one of, if not the, greatest films of all time.

It’s the story of a New York crime family, spanning a decade of the leadership passing from the father, played by Brando, to his reluctant heir, played by Al Pacino.

Available to see through streaming services, it’s a must-watch and deserves the right wine pairing.

Much like the crime family in The Godfather and the actions of Brando at the awards, there has long been a stigma around the Sangiovese grape, despite its dominance in Italian wine. But now, it is a well-respected, refined ingredient in many classy wines. For a true appreciation of this grape and the classic movie, unscrew a bottle of Chianti, preferably Chianti Classico.

There you have it, three great movies spanning various themes and genres with perfect wines to accompany and enhance the viewing experience.