The 12 Wines and Films of Christmas
Christmas is just around the corner, less than 12 days away. In my house that means cold nights wrapping presents and watching Christmas movies with drinks. There is something blissfully enjoyable about putting the kids to bed in the evening, lighting the fireplace and wrapping presents to Christmas movies (oh and drinking wines/beers which match the film). Now I do not care if you are watching these movies on network television, popping in DVDs, streaming them, or even dusting off the old VHS. Nor am I significantly concerned if the chosen movies pass as Christmas movies in your mind, they count in mine and I will make a small case for each. I will also be making wine and beet pairing suggestions to match each film so you can see the method to my madness and yes there is a method and yes, there is indeed madness.
So, in no particular order I present our case of 12 wines and 12 movies.
Bad Santa – This dark comedy deals with a morally bankrupt Santa who plans a heist and not a Grinch like heist. A movie like this with strong language needs a strong drink, so I am going for a Porto. Not a Tawny Porto that is too light hearted for this film, no, this required a deep LBV Porto, something like Quinta Novel.
Love Actually – A selection of intersecting love stories set around Christmas, some are sweet some are savory, while others are rich. There are some good-looking people in the movie which means we need a elegant wine. A wine that is sweet and maybe can pair with the richness. Sauternes fits the bill and fills the glass.
Scrooged – Cynical and hold-hearted Bill Murry smokes cigars and makes people cry. Inniskillin icewine from up north is made from frozen grapes. What has been kept a secret from the world up until this point is that the grapes were frozen because they were placed too close to Murry’s heart during filming. So get some icewine, and stop by Oakton Cigars and more for a nice stick and enjoy.
Trading Places – Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd head up this star-studded cast. There are only two things to drink when watching this cinematic masterpiece from the 80’s, Kindred Spirit IPA as it connects with the kindred spirits of each of the characters as the story progresses, or some champagne. Champagne is useful for toasting to all the money made on the stock exchange, laughing at “s-car go” jokes. Bet you a dollar you can’t pass this one up.
Christmas Vacation – Chevy Chase is electrified as Clark Griswald in this slapstick which nothing goes right. It will have you laughing so hard you are shittin bricks, sorry, sorry, rocks. Open up some Kim Crawford Signature and after you down a few glasses the acidity will light you up like the Griswald Christmas lights.
A Christmas Story – Ohhhh….. fudge….. you thought I forgot, never. This is a Christmas classic: Italian Leg Lamp, triple dog dares, and of course the coveted Red Rider BB Gun. A Christmas Story is such an institution and it requires a more institutional wine/beer paring. Something comforting for this coming of age tale. Hearty California Cabs like Beringer Knights Valley Cab or a perfect Pilsner like Six Point Brewing’s Crisp Pils.
Home Alone – Order yourself a whole cheese pizza, open a nice Chianti, and settle into enjoy this quirky comedy. Watch out for swinging pain cans, running facets, and Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern lurking about. Before the finally, but after the pizza and Chianti, grab a bowl of ice cream (don’t worry about how much as Mom is in Paris and left you to your own devices) and a Fire Stone Walker Nitro Merlin – it tastes like milkshake that is actually a beer.
Die Hard – What is there to say about this movie other than it is unquestionably a Christmas movie. Anyone who says otherwise… have a re-watch (“Now I have a machine gun, ho-ho-ho.”) and then come into talk with me, I’ll set the record straight. So why not come out to the coast, we’ll get together, and have a few laughs over a twinke and some Brown Sugar Brown Cow Mocha Brown ale or a hearty Merlot. One that matches the blood on John’s feet and the Han’s tie. You will be glad you were invited to the party.
Lethal Weapon – Yet another perfect Christmas movie, watch before you buy your tree or while putting presents under a nice 6-footer. If you disagree you will have to talk with Mr. Joshua. Open a full-bodied high-octane Zin or a nice double IPA like Fire Stone Walker Leo vs Urus. Will do. Sit back and bask in the brilliance of Eric Clapton’s epic soundtrack and the comedy action of Riggs and Murtaugh. After-all no one is too old for this film.
A Wonderful Life – A toast to this masterpiece and to George…. This film needs some Champagne for toasting to the past year and all the lives we have touched. So, gather some loved ones (or maybe you can drink a whole bottle of Champagne alone) and enjoy this holiday classic.
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang – This film heralds the return of Robert Downey Jr. to the big screen. It is brash, funny, and has a few wicked lines. Also, it is a reminder not to eat a whole Christmas dinner by yourself or you will end up looking like Val Kilmer in the movie. If you have never seen this film or think that it is not a Christmas movie, I invite you look up the word “idiot” in the dictionary, you know what you will find? Watch the movie and find out. But when you do watch it, open some Grenache or a cheeky Rhone blend. They will pair well with one liner’s and the well-crafted dialogue.
Elf – Buddy, it this the funniest Christmas movie or what? No, that’s a rhetorical question as the answer is of course yes. Oh you disagree? WELL YOU SIT ON A THRONE OF LIES! This film is made for over indulging on sweets: sugar, gummy bears, and syrup, you can’t forget the syrup. So perhaps a nice Rose or Gose goes well with gummy bears and twizzlers. Just avoid the Central Park Rangers when you grab a refill.