So, Bibendum, the London based n’er can do no wrong wine merchants (they really are, always have been and always probably will be very good) have teamed up with Liverpool’s Ph (Picture house) cinema to devise a series of recommendations of wines to accompany various films. Current recommendations are, Clos Paradis Sancerre to accompany Before Midnight with Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke, Boom Boom Syrah with Only God Forgives and Dinastio Vivanco Rioja with Almaldovar’s I’m so Excited!
I have not tasted, nor seen, any of them so no comment there. However, I’m reminded of my friend David Farnell’s appearance on a Toronto Radio station where he spent an hour or two, probably two, pairing up his first love, wine with his second love, jazz. Pairing such things is very personal and so open to mood.
So what of films? There seem to be, first of all, a couple of technical difficulties: red or white? Cool or room temperature? And something that won’t over evolve over an hour and a half, or longer if it’s something really serious.
For red and white it seems the same problem presents itself; you need something that will remain fresh for the duration, so an ice bucket, or at least a bucket of cool water will be necessary for both. Northern hemisphere or cold climate must seem the operative choice… a hot climate red with high alcohol could overpower over a long period and lose its focus; but then, does not Killikanoon’s Killerman’s Run sound so entirely apt for Pulp Fiction?
Too much oak in your white will leave your tongue numb and sugary sweet after too much for too long.
On reflection, for the most part I would probably want something white, keeping it very cold and hoping it would persevere with good acidity. Inevitably, a smokey riesling, even one from a cooler part of Australia, would keep me interested, with that hint of petrol constantly refocusing the mind like a dose of smelling salts.
A good, nutty and pithy dry Oloroso would fit the bill for many a film, obliging with short tiny sips, but unrelenting flavour and length in the mouth. But perhaps just a little too serious, even dour for many a modern melodrama.
And for my immediate celluloid future? An ambitious hospital bed Fellini Retrospective, La Dolce Vita and yet another stab at 8 1/2? Both are complex, contemplative and very long. The latter so long, I have yet to get more than two thirds of the way through. I think a great vintage of recent Brunello could do it, a 2001 or a 2004. It would have flesh, fresh acidity and depth…now how Fellini is that? But how ever would I get it past the nurses?
And what of films as a theme, or a conundrum? What for one of my all time favourites, Sophia Coppola’s Lost in Translation? Not Santori (Time!) whisky, but Sake, surely? Not because sake is Japanese, but because I have tried, god knows I have tried, but honestly, for me, sake, just remains utterly lost in translation.