On CTV News, Leanne and I chat about pairing wine with romantic movies for Valentine’s Day.
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Pairing Romantic Movies and Wine for Valentine’s Day
Michael: As we look ahead to Valentine’s Day you may be interested in some wine pairings. Leanne Cusack and a very special guest aren’t suggesting pairings with food though, very interesting.
Leanne: Not the typical at all, Michael. And not just wine and chocolate because Natalie MacLean, wine writer extraordinaire says, “Too ordinary for you right now”.
Natalie: Exactly! Been there, done that. It’s time to pair wine with romantic movies and songs.
Leanne: We’re also catering to someone who may not have that special Valentine but you’re pulling together a girl’s night …
Leanne: … or whatever!
Natalie: This is love in the bottle.
Leanne: So we’re going to start with some of Natalie’s favourites. Now think of yours. Think of your favourite sort of love stories or as they’re often called ….
Natalie: Romcoms – romantic comedies.
Leanne: Chick lit.
Natalie: Yes, exactly, perfect!
Leanne: So the first one is ‘Like Water for Chocolate’.
Leanne: Now this is a story of love and family and it’s turmoil …
Natalie: Yes exactly! You know it was back in the day, in Mexico, when the youngest daughter couldn’t marry and Pedro of course, falls in love with Tita and must marry her older sister. Instead of matching this Chantilly coffee creamer chocolate, I’m going to pair with ‘Like Water for Chocolate’ …..
Natalie: … a movie with lots of interesting twist. They used food for seduction.
Leanne: And this is a vodka based drink.
Natalie: It is.
Leanne: I had it over the holidays instead of Baileys. And you like it for what reason?
Natalie: It’s creamy, it’s rich, it’s voluptuous and it’s mouth-filling. It will make the chocolate melt in your mouth and it’s made in Ontario.
Leanne: Which is another plus?
Leanne: So of course that particular movie won the Best Foreign Film it was in 1992.
Natalie: It did.
Leanne: But next up and we’re gonna get through a lot of films … of course, “Moonstruck”.
Natalie: That’s Amore, I loved that song.
Leanne: Another Oscar winner and another intense film about family dynamics.
Natalie: Exactly, exactly! So again, I seem to focus on doomed love here but you know Valentine’s Day brings that up, too, I guess. So I’m pairing “Moonstruck” with a good Italian Chianti from Frescobaldi because Cher is in this movie and she’s married to the older brother but loves the younger brother. It all works out in the end especially if you add a bit …
Leanne: Spoiler alert! Spoiler alert!
Leanne: So this wine you chose?
Natalie: It’s Italian, it’s robust, it’s powerful like their love and, you know, you have a heaping plate of spaghetti or something.
Leanne: Okay. I need you to pronounce it. It look like its sounds beautiful?
Natalie: Marchesi de Frescobaldi, it’s a Chianti.
Natalie: That’s Amore!
Leanne: Lovely job for a MacLean! A Scottish lass.
Natalie: In a bottle.
Leanne: Okay, next up, we all know how this one ends “Titanic”.
Leanne: A lot of people do call this their favourite love story and some, not so much.
Leanne: But why did you choose this movie? Why did you choose this particular drink?
Natalie: Well, more doomed love here. For “Titanic” we, of course, have chosen a Port. The ship never gets to port but you can, in your glass.
Leanne: Oh dear!
Leanne: Which port did you choose?
Natalie: I choose Fonseca. Port is actually a terrific pairing for most sweet desserts, not just chocolate but if you have cake or cheese cake or biscotti, this is lovely. It’s fortified so it has extra alcohol, extra sweetness, extra umph for Valentine’s Day.
Leanne: I personally liked the joke although you mustn’t joke about ….
Natalie: I know
Leanne: …. a doomed ship or doomed love. Next up, “Love Story” – Ryan O’Neal, Ali MacGraw and timeless.
Natalie: Timeless like this Moet & Chandon Rosé and it’s got a long finish. That movie seems to live on in our favourites forever because it was just so memorable and the acting was so good. I mean its decades ago, isn’t it?
Leanne: It is.
Natalie: But this wine has staying power, as well.
Leanne: Okay, so tell us about this Moet?
Natalie: Moet & Chandon is one of the finest champagnes made in France. We know champagne comes only from the Champagne region. With Rosé Champagne, everyone thinks, “Oh Rose … pink, don’t think pink, Saccharin sweet”. Rosé is the most difficult to make and its bone dry. Only five percent of champagnes are Rosé; very hard and very expensive to make.
Leanne: So very special.
Leanne: We have a lot more to get through …
Leanne: … so let’s roundup because next – Casa Blanca.
Natalie: I’ve got Catharine Brut from Niagara because I keep thinking the lead is Catherine. It’s not. It’s Ingrid Bergman.
Leanne: It’s a common mistake.
Natalie: Exactly! The camera pans down and they tipped over the champagne glasses as he’s saying, ‘Here’s looking at you, kid.’ You know its Rosé champagne – Rosé bubbly that’s why I’ve got this wine.
Leanne: Classic from 1942, long before your time … our time. It’s okay that we got a little confused with the character. But this is the Bubbly that you would like everyone to know about?
Natalie: Yes, absolutely!
Leanne: And this is Ontario?
Natalie: This is Ontario only $35 but such a good one from Henry of Pelham Winery.
Leanne: And another Rosé?
Natalie: Another Rosé for romance.
Leanne: So we have “Sideways”.
Leanne: We will go quickly with this because it’s really guys on bachelor trip.
Natalie: It is.
Leanne: But its guys on a wine jaunt so to speak.
Natalie: Yeah! Right in the heart of Santa Barbara Wine County in Southern California. If you remember the character, Miles, who said, ‘I’m not drinking Merlot.’ He was a wine snob and he loved Pinot Noir. Pinot Noir is known as the heartbreak grape. I have it here from Cloudy Bay, New Zealand. It’s still a lovely Pinot Noir and it’s great for bachelor parties or girl’s night in or whatever.
Leanne: The heartbreak grape.
Natalie: Yes, because it’s so expensive.
Natalie: Not, because it breaks up relationships.
Leanne: I’m glad you clarified that. We’re gonna be back with these. Michael I know you love a love song. We have wines to pair with love songs when we come back.
Here’s part two of our conversation with more movies and also pairing wine with love songs.
Like Water For Chocolate
Maverick Distillery Chantilly French Cream
Oakville, Ontario, Canada
Marchesi de Frescobaldi Tenuta Di Castiglioni 2013
Tuscany I.G.T., Italy
Fonseca Porto Bin 27
Douro Valley, Portugal
Moet and Chandon Grand Vintage Brut Rosé Champagne 2006
Champagne A.C., France
Henry of Pelham Winery Cuvee Catharine Rose Brut
Niagara Escarpment, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada
Cloudy Bay Vineyards Ltd Pinot Noir 2013
Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand
Gérard Bertrand Côte Des Roses Rosé 2014
Languedoc, Midi A.P., France
Shakespeare in Love
Secreto Patagónico Chardonnay 2012
Chapoutier Les Grands Merisiers 2012
Chateaueuf-Du-Pape A.O.C., France
When Harry Met Sally
Jackson-Triggs Reserve Gewurztraminer 2008
Ontario V.Q.A., Canada