Which Women Shine with Wine in the Movies?

marilyn-munroe-opening champagneWine, 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.

marilyn-monroe-champagneThat makes for lots of double-entendres about pent-up pressure and powerful thumbs.

If champagne, red wine, port and sherry are the wines of sophistication on the silver screen, white wine is often designated “the single chick wine.” Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001) spawned the term Chardonnay Girl.

Brigit and her girlfriends quaff it ritually as they gripe about the male species. The movie opens with Renée Zellweger alone in her livingroom on Christmas Eve, listening to the song All By Myself.

Bridget Jones wineBy her fourth glass of chardonnay, she’s singing with zest into her hair brush. It evokes an epiphany: She realizes that at 32, her closest relationship is with a bottle of wine.

In Autumn Tale, which won the 1998 Venice Film Festival awaautumn-tale-movierd for Best Original Screenplay, a widow runs a Côte du Rhone winery.

How she makes her wine reveals her values—she prides herself on aging her wines longer than neighbouring vintners.

Her friends try to find her a new husband, and their courtship begins over a glass of wine.

Vineyard romances happen even in California.

A Napa Valley winery is the setting for Disney’s 1988 remake of The Parent Trap, in which twin girls plot to reunite their estranged parents.

Of course, winemakers go in for long-term commitments, so vintner Dennis Quaid has never stopped loving his former wife, the late Natasha Richardson.

When the kids bring them back together, he shows her that he has restocked his cellar with wines that represent fond memories for them both. The movie was filmed at Staglin Family Winery; and Richardson bought several cases of wine to drink with her then actor husband, Liam Neeson.

staglin wineryIn French Kiss (1995), Meg Ryan travels to Paris to confront her fiancé, who’s having an affair with a Parisian woman.

When Kevin Kline plants a grape vine cutting on her to smuggle into the country, naturellement Ryan falls in love with him.

French Kiss Meg Ryan(Though wine lovers were left puzzling as to why a French winemaker would want to sneak in an American vine.)

Then Kline shows Ryan his tiny vials of wine aromas. Eyes closed, she sniffs each vial with that adorable button nose, and correctly identifies each essence—the last test to become a French vintner’s wife.

french kiss meg ryan vinesRead more about about movies and wine

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