Oscar Pairings 2019

The nominations are here! Time to sit down. Pop popcorn. Or don’t. Maybe you want a pretzel. I don’t know. Either way I like having a drink with my film. Here are my nominations for the best drinks to have with the best film nominees of the 2019 Academy Awards. BLAKKKLANSMAN I had a hard time with this one. There was a lot of beer consumed in this movie. And I feel a little prosaic just telling you to drink a beer, any beer. Although I believe in a bar scene a 7/7 was ordered. Or is it spelled 7-7? Seven Seven? Either which way it’s a drink made of Seagram’s 7, which is a gin, and Seven-Up. Which I think sounds tasty and refreshing so I say drink that. Or a beer. BLACK PANTHER Much as I wish I could create a drink with Wakanda’s Heart-Shaped Herb, the purple-hued gift of the Panther God Bast, in this last year I’ve not traveled far beyond St. Louis and San Diego. The latter was an exhilarating 3 hours on Amtrak to and from Los Angeles, to be sure, but still far from Wakanda. In lieu of the Heart-Shaped Herb, I sleuthed out another African botanical delight for you: Amarula. The Marula fruit is grown in subequatorial South Africa and is enjoyed by elephants. And humans! Who make this cream liqueur with it. Amarula is creamy, soft and will lull you into thinking that if not in Wakanda you are in paradise. BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY How about a Mercurey for Mr. Mercury? Surely Freddie would have appreciated a glass of Pinot Noir from this village in Burgundy’s Côte Châlonnaise. Mercurey can be great quality for price for those who want Burgundy booze without Grand Cru prices. On the other hand, Freddie mentions that there is no one as outrageous as himself, so if you can, go ahead and get a Grand Cru. Mazis-Chambertin , anyone? You are the champion. And it will rock you. THE FAVOURITE Once upon a time, due to convenient ports for exporting, a marriage or so, some trade deals and who knows how many beheadings, the English drank up liters or shall we say LITRES of “Claret”, their term for a red Bordeaux blend. Bordeaux blends may contain Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and maybe just maybe some Malbec and Petite Verdot. In homage to the fact that The Favourite deals with British history but has some Americans in it, I decided to pair it with a wine with a British name made by an American filmmaker: Francis Coppola Diamond Collection 2016 Black Label ‘Claret’ Cabernet Sauvignon. It is rich. It is decidedly fruit forward but with a nice ballast of earth. Like a raised earth bed that berries are planted on. The perfect soothing wine to balance a complex and troubling movie. GREEN BOOK Drink Blended Scotch whisky. Specifically Cutty Sark . Pianist Dr. Don Shirley requests that there be one bottle of it in his hotel room every night. A full one. And no, he needs no help with it. You may. I would. But I leave you to do you with the Scotch. ROMA At a New Year’s party, pregnant Cleo is cajoled into having a tiny tipple. Upon being offered mescal she replies “No, just a little pulque,” and I thought THAT’S a woman after my heart. Seeing as I don’t like mezcal. I had to do a little research on pulque though. It is a bubbly, milky looking beverage with a sour yeast-like taste. It is made from maguey, also known as agave. It is lower in alcohol (usually 2-8%) than a distilled spirit so kudos to Cleo for finding the most fetus friendly libation. However, I feel I am not the woman to tell you how to homebrew it. So I am going with a milky cocktail, flavored with agave, using tequila, another spirit made of agave. The That’s Not Pulque, That’s Yummy Cocktail • 1 ½ oz. half and half • 1 oz. tequila • ½ oz. light agave syrup • 1 oz. coffee • Dash of Amaretto—I sometimes like a little more than a dash! • Cinnamon to garnish Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Relish that you are not with child. If you are, put that glass down. A STAR IS BORN I think I’m supposed to recommend that you don’t drink for this movie about an addict. But…every year my family is happy to see me at the holidays because a) I’m a damn delight and b) I come bearing screeners thanks to being a voting member of the Screen Actors Guild. While watching this with the fam, midway through the movie my brother went to the kitchen to grab beers for himself and my dad. Which inspired me to open a bottle of Cahors (I’d bought in the name of research for my Old v. New Malbec column) and poured it for me and my mom. Both paired well with this excellent film. If you do have a substance-abuse issue though, maybe don’t read this column? I’m not a professional but I’m known to inspire people to drink. Which in any other context would be a bad thing, but I’m pretty sure that’s my job as a wine writer. VICE Drinking game: take a shot for every time Cheney has a heart attack or does something to break yours. DISCLAIMER: know your limits and switch to water when you need to. If you make it through the film without switching or passing out, then you must have no heart. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Want to read more from Ellen? Check out her recent articles: Classic Pairings for the Veggie Soul: Pairing Four Classic Pairings for the Veggie Soul: Pairing Three Classic Pairings for the Veggie Soul: Pairing Two Classic Pairings for the Veggie Soul: Pairing One Old World vs. New World Round Four: Chenin Blanc! You can also listen to Ellen's podcast with Shaughn Buchholz, The Wine Situation here .


Wild Fruit Cream Liqueur

Sweet creamy and endlessly entertaining like all Valentines activities should be — 4 years ago

Neil, Severn and 11 others liked this
Severn Goodwin

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Wild fruit? Interesting.
Ellen Clifford

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@Severn Goodwin the marula fruit! Nabbed this for an upcoming column—sneak preview it’s my spirit to drink while watching Black Panther...

Francis Ford Coppola Winery

Diamond Collection Black Label Claret California Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Known name to, oh everyone? This “claret” is distinctly California but not in a way to make me run to Bordeaux. More or less it is yummy wine and sometimes that is what you want. Rich blackberries, vanilla and a smidge of clove. Eat (drink) it up. — 4 years ago

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Shawn Thompson

Shawn Thompson

Great review! Cheers 🍷
Ellen Clifford

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@Shawn Thompson thanks! Cheers!🥂

Château Pineraie

Cahors Malbec 2014

I had it at Covell. I ended up accidentally buying the same at thanksgiving in St. Louis. And now I’m back at Covell drinking it because it stands well in many ways: it has a refreshing nature—some sort of herbal underbelly to it berry cassis fun. So far my top cahors pick but there’s more to be tried... — 4 years ago

Trixie, Bill and 6 others liked this