The Dark Side of Wine in the Movies: Days of Wine and Thorns

In films such as the Godfather series, wine and food are expressive of Italian culture, and its fierce loyalty—wine is part of family gatherings, and presented as something simple, without pretense. It’s often consumed from shot glasses. But also represents the darker side: the brooding nature of the family members, and the blood ties that bind. You’ll find my TIFF and Oscar-worthy, award-winning wines here, with all-star ratings. Looks alone have made red wine the preferred drink of horror movies, often an omen of evil. The Dracula movies associate wine with blood. “Aren’t you drinking?” inquires the guest, as Count […]

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Which Women Shine with Wine in the Movies?

Wine, women and … the movies. As we celebrate the Toronto Film Festival (TIFF 2014), here’s a look at some of the cameo roles that wine and women have played in film as terrific co-stars. In The Seven Year Itch (1955), Marilyn Monroe, moves into a Manhattan apartment above Tom Ewell, a married man whose family has gone to Maine for summer vacation. When the two get together for an innocent glass of champagne, the bottle explodes—and he gets his thumb stuck while trying to stop the overflow. That makes for lots of double-entendres about pent-up pressure and powerful thumbs. […]

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Walk in the Clouds: Winemaking in the Movies

In anticipation of the Toronto Film Festival #TIFF kicking off this week, this is the first in a series of articles about wine in the movies. First, I’d like to nominate a few of my favourite Oscar-worthy Canadian wines in honour of TIFF being held in Toronto: Featherstone Black Sheep Riesling Flat Rock Cellars Gravity Pinot Noir Painted Rock Red Icon Blue Mountain Brut Sparkling Luckett Vineyards Phone Box Red Stay tuned for more nominations this week. Now let’s travel back to 1995. Although not written as a comedy, the movie A Walk In The Clouds offered many laughs for […]

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Champagne and James Bond: The Spy Who Loved Bollinger and Dom Perignon

James Bond was one of the first action heroes to make wine connoisseurship seem masculine and sexy. (Most of he-man flicks don’t lend themselves to the quiet reflection of wine: try to imagine Arnold Schwarzenegger sipping a silky burgundy to relax after an extended car chase.) In the Bond flick, Die Another Day, 007 is freed after fourteen months of torture in a North Korean prison. The first thing he wants? A shave and a bottle of 1961 Bollinger. In GoldenEye (1995), a female psychiatrist asks him what he does to relax. Bond presses a button on the dashboard of […]

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Wine’s Finest Movie Moments: The Award for Best Cabernet in a Supporting Role Goes to …

On Global Morning Live, we chat about how Hollywood’s most memorable characters, from James Bond to Hannibal Lector, have always had a little help from the wine bottle … and help yourself to those I nominate as the best wines in a supporting role for watching the Oscars this year. By Natalie MacLean Although this year’s Oscar-nominated movies have many merits, oenophiles are bitter over the lack of great wine scenes. For example, couldn’t The Wolf of Wall Street show a little class and decant some Chateau Margaux in the midst of all that excess? Leonardo DiCaprio’s last pivotal wine […]

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Hollywood + Vine Oscars: Wine-Loving Movie Stars

By Natalie MacLean On CTV’s The Social, we we chat about winemaking movie stars … can you guess who made which wine? When I think of the Oscars, I think wine. Why? For many film industry luminaries, conspicuous consumption such as owning a yacht or even a restaurant is so 2013. These days, if you really want to show some class, you own a winery. There’s no better photo opp than one with you and your trophy wife or boy toy pruning the vines or pressing the grapes. That’s why movie actors, directors and producers are getting their hands dirty, […]

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Director James Cameron Buys BC Winery

Director James Cameron recently bought Beaufort Winery in Comox Valley on Vancouver Island, British Columbia for an undisclosed price. (Wouldn’t we like to know.) Cameron joins a growing roster of movie celebrity winemakers. Husband-and-wife team, Susan and Jeff Vandermolen, founded the winery in 2006, and will consult for at least a year. James, the director of blockbuster movies such as Avatar ($2.7 billion), Titanic, Aliens and The Terminator, wanted to buy agricultural land in the region as a way of spending more time with his family in Canada; he was born in Chippewa, Ontario. Even though winemaking wasn’t his first […]

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New Wine from Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have just launched their first wine, a lovely, pink petal, bone-dry rose from Provence called Miraval Rosé. The wine is being released in the LCBO Saturday. The couple owns the winery and estate Château Miraval, even though you’ll find no reference to them on the label. This wine doesn’t need to ride on the back of their celebrity: it stands alone as a terrific, refreshing rose with aromas of small field strawberries, orange zest and light spices. Should I add though that there’s a hint of drama on the nose, with a surprise twist finish? […]

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