Allison Lyzenga: Wine and Movie Pairings

Settling in to watch a movie with a nice glass of wine is one of life’s greatest pleasures. But the perfect pairing of wine and film, just like pairing wine and food, makes both even better. And as a movie blogger for My Film Habit , I encourage everyone to choose their movie as carefully as their wine. Whether you make it a simple affair or a truly decadent experience really depends on your mood and inclination. For as many times as I’ve enjoyed an esteemed bottle of red Burgundy with a pretentious art house film, I’ve also enjoyed a frivolous quaffer with a cheesy action flick. Either way, it makes for an excellent evening. When it comes to selecting the perfect film to go with your wine, there are a few different ways to approach the choice. You could do a classic, regional pairing—matching your bottle to the location where the story takes place. But that’s too easy. I prefer to take the aesthetics and mood of the film as my inspiration. There’s nothing quite like a witty comedy to inspire a clever match. Lately I’ve been having fun with a lot of classic, old films from the 1930s. I’ve fallen in love with The Thin Man series, in particular. The movies are funny, a little bit sexy, and oh-so-boozy. Nick and Nora Charles are a pair of wealthy, married detectives, and they are well-known spirits enthusiasts. Any case worth solving can be solved better with a glass of port in hand! With this carefree atmosphere of the early 30s, and Nick and Nora’s zeal for living the good life, I would pair an indulgent, deeply-colored, high-alcohol red wine. Think a full-bodied, fruity California Zinfandel . I recently enjoyed Turley Cedarman Howell Mountain Zinfandel 2015. Or, you may want to turn to history for inspiration by selecting a heady, fortified, dessert wine in tribute to the most popular wines coming out of California in the years immediately following the repeal of Prohibition. Quinta DO Porto 10-Year-Old Tawny Porto is a particularly decadent choice. Both of these wines are as rich and lush as Nick and Nora themselves. I also can’t resist a mischievous pairing every now and then. I wouldn’t give up too much quality for the sake of a joke, but there’s a little bit of fun to be had when watching a fluffy movie with friends. What would a Magic Mike movie be without a glass of a mom-pleasing Chardonnay ? Accessible Cave De Lugny Vielle Réserve Mâcon-Villages Chardonnay 2014 is usually a bargain, and great for parties. Looking for something more highbrow? Nothing goes with the extravagance and decadence of a Sofia Coppola film quite like a glass of Champagne . Try the R. Pouillon & Fils Réserve Brut Champagne Blend with The Bling Ring , or Marie Antionette. I had the 2009 vintage, and the mix of ripe berry flavors, apple, and bready biscuit notes went down perfectly with Marie Antionette’s parade of dresses, cakes, and frippery. Pairings get really interesting with Sci-Fi movies. These movies are often about exploration or surprise, making them just right with some really intriguing, unusual wines. Nothing embodies the spirit of quirky and unexpected quite like the white wines from the Jura region of France. I really enjoyed the nutty, savory flavors I found in the Domaine de Montbourgeau Cuvée Spéciale L’Etoile Chardonay Blend 2013. It’s a good pairing with the dark and uncertain mood of movies like Blade Runner 2049 . And then, there are always “ Orange ” wines, like the Shalauri Cellars Mtsvane 2015 from Georgia. For many, this style of savory, tannic, oxidized white wine will be a delightfully disorienting new experience. It perfectly complements any movie set in the future, like Interstellar or Edge of Tomorrow . Wine so often punctuates life’s memorable moments. But I’ve found that choosing the right wines to accompany the quieter moments can often have a greater impact, whether it be for a frivolous movie, a simple meal, or even a relaxing bubble bath (another one of my favorite pastimes). So, don’t wait for a special occasion to give some thought to the next great bottle of wine you’ll enjoy. A movie is all you need. - Allison Lyzenga When it comes to wine, Allison describes herself as an educated amateur. She has earned her WSET 3 credentials and says, “watching a movie with a delicious dinner and good bottle of wine in front of me is my favorite thing in the world.” She also shares her love of food and wine through her #bathtubdining Instagram account at @mildallis. She hopes her tasting notes on the Delectable app will inspire others. Read her full Featured User interview to learn how she was inspired to learn more about wine.

Frederic Esmonin

Les Genévrières Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2014

2014 Frederic Esmonin Bourgogne “Les Genevrieres” and Rolling Blackouts CF “Coastal Fever”. Wine has wonderful depth on the nose & shows plenty of elegant fruit, but has firmer structure than expected at the Bourgogne level. Very nice bottle. Record would have been a college radio giant back the day. Highly recommended for most audiences. — 5 years ago

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Pinotman /// Andreas

Pinotman /// Andreas

I like what this producer does at very reasonable prices for Burgundy.

Shalauri Cellars

Mtsvane 2015

Medium gold; medium intensity aromas of dried flower, oxidized yellow apple skins, bazooka bubble gum, something almost varnishlike; fully developed; dry, high acid, medium tannins, medium alcohol, medium body, medium plus intensity flavors of oxidized apple skin, florals, varnish — 5 years ago

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Cedarman Howell Mountain Zinfandel 2015

Deep ruby; medium plus intensity aromas of concentrated blackberry, tar, pepper, anise, sweet spices; dry, medium acid, medium plus tannins, high alcohol, medium plus body, pronounced intensity flavors of blackberry, anise, vanilla, sweet spices — 6 years ago

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Domaine & Selection

Pommard Les Lambots 2005

A well-balanced and teenaged #Burgundy - a special treat indeed! 🍷

This was sommelier Matt Portnoy’s pick when we couldn’t decide what to order with dinner. He so kindly served us Bud Lights with the bottle to round out our trip to Flavortown (as Guy Fieri would say). 🍻

Enjoyed at Manhatta, Danny Meyer’s newest addition to the stellar USHG family. Not only are the views epic, but the food is great, design is excellent, cocktails inventive and there are even binoculars along the window for exploration of the sights to behold from the 60th floor of 28 Liberty Street. 🏙

GO if you are in New York, and order the soufflé for dessert! 🗽
— 5 years ago

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R. Pouillon & Fils

Réserve Brut Champagne Blend

Medium gold; medium intensity aromas of lemon, golden apple, ripe berries, yeasty dough, rye bread; developing; dry, medium plus acid, delicate bubbles, medium alcohol, medium body, medium intensity flavors of citrus fruit, yellow apple, raspberry, rye bread; excellent — 5 years ago

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Cave de Lugny

Vieille Réserve Mâcon-Villages Chardonnay 2014

Pale lemon; medium intensity aromas of lemon, yellow apple, wet stone, subtle mushroomy funkiness; developing; dry, medium acid, medium alcohol, medium body, medium intensity flavors of yellow apple, underripe peach, toast, custard, wet stone — 8 years ago

Jacob Loshin
with Jacob
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Brut Tradition Grand Cru Champagne Blend

My second bottle in as many weeks of Egly-Ouriet’s Brut Tradition Grand Cru. Hands down my favorite under $100 Champagne.

Ultra pungent and what I can only describe as sultry stone fruit pastry. There’s an underlying layer of floral and mineral purity that’s both exotically gorgeous and subtlety confounding. The edges are tinged with ripe apple and Meyer lemon, and ride the lengthy finish on a bolt of acidity. Stunning.
— 5 years ago

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Domaine de Montbourgeau

Cuvée Spéciale L'Etoile Chardonnay Blend 2013

Medium gold; medium intensity aromas of yellow apple skins, summer squash, pumpkin seeds, terra cotta, raw dough; developing; dry, medium plus acid, medium alcohol, medium body, medium intensity flavors of yellow apple skins, raw pumpkin, roasted almonds, savory, salinity, raw dough — 5 years ago

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Quinta do Noval

Vintage Port Blend 1995

Vintage 1995 - I do not drink it often, but love older #vintageport This is a real treat with beautiful currants, figs. Even red fruit. — 6 years ago

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David Shaw

David Shaw Influencer Badge

Life is too short. Vintage Port stops time. Thanks for sharing this vicariously