‘Tis the season for holiday movies. Our next guest has some wine suggestions to make watching them more festive this year.
Here with her picks is Natalie MacLean who offers Canada’s most popular online wine classes at nataliemaclean.com
Before we get to your pairings, why are classic movies such a big part of the holiday season?
Holiday movies are often more cringe-worthy than binge-worthy, yet we continue to watch them for their predictably happily-ever-after as a maladaptive COVID copying strategy.
Hallmark alone has produced 136 holiday movies, and now has even has its only wines, a Cabernet Sauvignon called Jingle and a Sauvignon Blanc named Joy.
There’s a comforting retro-appeal to these films that goes back to when we were children and couldn’t read but could recite the books by heart that we loved the most when our parents read them to us.
It’s that mushy, gloopy togetherness that we’re all yearning for right now . . . and there’s a wine for that, in fact several!
A Christmas Carol
Let’s start with a clip from one of the most classic holiday movies adapted from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.
Which wines are you pairing with this movie?
Well I would go first of all with this California Merlot from Ghost Pines. It’s smooth, rich and haunting, just like the ghosts who visit Ebenezer.
Ghost Pines Winemakers Blend Merlot
Napa, Sonoma, California, United States
I would also pair with it, Toro Malbec from Argentina and it’s priced $9.95 so, it’s priced to even make Scrooge happy. I think both of these red wines will pair nicely wine with a charcuterie board, while you’re watching the movie. Maybe some different cheeses and different meats.
Toro Winery Centenario Malbec
I’d also pair them with another movie, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.
Let’s take a look at your next movie suggestion, Elf.
What are you pairing with Elf?
I love this movie, too. This film never gets old and I love that kids and adults find it funny. For Buddy, the elf’s bubbly personality, I’d definitely go with a sparkling wine, a bubbly. This one’s from Trius, it’s a Brut Rosé from Niagara. It would also pair well with potato chips.
Trius Brut Rosé Sparkling
Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada
Buddy loves syrup on just about anything, including spaghetti. So which wine pairs well with syrup and spaghetti? Nothing. Don’t do that, don’t even try that pairing! But, I do have a buttery, rich Chardonnay from Southern France from Calmel & Joseph that would be perfect with hot-buttered popcorn.
Calmel & Joseph Villa Blanche Chardonnay
IGP Pays d’Oc, Languedoc-Roussillon, France
Both of these wines will also pair well with Miracle on 34th Street.
And one of your other picks, is a debate on whether it’s a Christmas movie or not. I think it is! Here’s Die Hard.
Well this isn’t exactly a feel-good movie, but it does take place on Christmas Eve so for this one I’m going with a full-bodied, muscular red wine like this Masi Amarone from Italy.
Masi Costasera Amarone Classico 2015
Alternatively we could go south in Italy to Sicily with Cusumano Nero d’Avola.
Cusumano Terre Siciliane Nero d’Avola 2019
Both of these will go well with that charcuterie board, or Tim Burton’s A Nightmare Before Christmas.
What is your pairing for Home Alone?
Well, I think for its tenuous connection The McCallister family goes to Paris for their Christmas vacation and accidentally leave, poor little Kevin, Macaulay Culkin, behind. So for this one I’m going with a Niagara Cabernet, but it’s aged in french oak.
Strewn Winery Limited Home Farm Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
Niagara, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada
I think the McCallisters should have headed to Greece, for warmer weather. Maybe they would have remembered Kevin! I’ve also paired this with a fresh, Greek white wine, Mega Spileo.
Mega Spileo Cuvée III White 2019
Achaia, Peloponnese, P.G.I., Greece
Both of these wines would also pair beautifully with another Christmas classic with another child actor, Peter Billingsley in A Christmas Story.
A Miracle on Christmas Lake
Finally, our fifth pick here for movies with A Miracle on Christmas Lake. What are you pairing with this?
In honour of the lake at the heart of this movie, I’m going with Reif Icewine from Niagara which I think would be wonderful. It even comes in this adorable stocking stuffer size.
Reif Estate Winery Vidal Icewine 2017
Niagara River, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada
Reif Estate Winery Vidal Icewine 50ml.
Niagara River, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada
And, you know they are playing hockey on the lake so I have to bring in the Great One , Wayne Gretzky’s distillery. This is whisky that’s been aged in an ice cask that’s used to age Icewine. Or, you could get ninety-nine proof. Both of these are great for It’s a Wonderful Life, especially if you need something stronger to cope with all the residual sugar on the screen.
Wayne Gretzky Estates Ice Cask Whisky
Wayne Gretzky Estates Ninety-Nine Proof Whisky
Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada
They also have a Salted Caramel Liqueur that will make even the Grinchy-est of hearts melt. It’s so good! It’s so sweet. Shortbreads, chocolate Santas. It will pair so well with all of those treats.
Wayne Gretzky Estates Salted Caramel Cream
You’ve made this a lot of fun and you know what? We’re going to be home. We’re going to be watching a lot. What a great idea to go through wines and movies. We really appreciate this. Thanks, Natalie.