EXT. VINEYARDS – DAY
In the heart of Temecula Valley, a large green barn structure’s doors have just been opened and a sign flips from ‘closed’ to ‘open.’
INT. PONTE WINERY – TASTING COUNTER –DAY
HARRY, a stocky man in his late 40’s who has built his career as a professional wine taster is wearing a heavy winter coat, despite the balmy 84 degree temperature. He stands at the counter, clutching a full glass of red wine.
PRISCILLA, a student of Harry’s, 10 years his junior, who wears too much makeup, a sundress and old tennis shoes, walks over to the counter.
Isn’t it a little early for that, Harry?
So there you have my novice attempt at writing a great opening wine scene for a film script. Go ahead, laugh it up…I did!
You see, I have two things on the brain: film and wine. The reason? Why, Oscar Sunday, of course, which happens to be this weekend. For me, Academy Award night is the holiday that falls between Valentine’s Day and Easter, and is an occasion to do exactly what I do for all the other holidays: celebrate with food and wine. And in the spirit of Hollywood’s biggest night, I thought it would be fun to list some of the most memorable wine scenes on film. Here are just four of my favorites:
The Godfather – At Connie Corleone’s wedding, Clemenza dances around the dance floor before calling out, “Paulie! More wine!” Paulie hands him a pitcher of red wine and Clemenza starts gulping, straight from the jug. Haven’t we all wanted to do that at one time or another?
The Jerk – Steve Martin’s Navin is out to dinner with Bernadette Peters’ Marie. A waiter offers them a second bottle of wine to which Navin responds, “Yes, but no more 1966. Let’s splurge! Bring us some fresh wine. The freshest you’ve got – this year’s! No more of this old stuff.” Classic!
The Silence of the Lambs – Dr. Hannibal Lecter doesn’t like Clarice Starling’s attempts at manipulating him. He tells her, “A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti” [followed by a disturbing slurping/slithering sound]. Never has an Italian red wine sounded so terrifying!
Sideways – This is a tough one. Is the scene of Maya discussing the luscious beauty of wine better than Miles’ scene of having a breakdown at a tasting counter and downing all of the discarded wine in the dump bucket? There are so many great scenes in this movie that it’s probably impossible to choose a favorite.
What is your favorite wine scene in a movie? Tell us in the comments section.
And with that, I leave you with a couple of recipes for your own Oscar celebrations. They are very simple, yet so appropriate.
Kir Royales – these stunning refreshers give an extra sparkle to your glasses of bubbly
- 1 bottle Ponte Moscato, chilled
- Crème de Cassis or Chambord
Pour 1 tablespoon of Crème de Cassis in each champagne flute you are using or serving. Fill glasses to tops with cold Moscato. If desired, drop a raspberry or blackberry into each glass.
Homemade Gourmet Popcorn – because what goes better with movies than popcorn?
- Popped corn – you can make your own with an air popper or electric corn popper, or use microwave corn. If you use microwave corn, choose an all-natural version (no butter, low salt)
- Melted butter
- Toppings – i.e. cracked black pepper, freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, lemon zest, rosemary, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, truffle oil.
Drizzle popped corn with warm melted butter or warmed olive oil. Immediately add toppings and stir or shake so that every kernel is dusted with flavor.
Some great combinations: Black pepper, sea salt and Parmigiano Reggiano; olive oil, lemon zest, sea salt and very finely chopped rosemary; truffle oil and sea salt.
–What was your favorite movie from the past year? And what is your favorite wine scene in a film?