“Everything you do irritates me, and when you’re not here, the things you’ll do when you come in irritate me. You leave me little notes on my pillow. I’ve told you 158 times I cannot stand little notes on my pillow.
‘We are all out of cornflakes. F.U.’
Took me three hours to figure out that F.U. was Felix Unger. “
The preceding is a line from one of my favorite movies of all time, “The Odd Couple”. I love the cinema almost as much as I love wine.
I also love when my passions can converge and they often do in the movies. Wine is omnipresent on the big screen and I make a point of always trying to determine which specific wine is being poured every single time I see a bottle on screen. While this habit has become extremely annoying to my fiancé, I forge ahead.
Here are some interesting observations and facts about famous wines in famous movies.
Sideways – 2004
This on is an obvious one to begin with.
Everybody knows that Miles (Paul Giamatti) reluctantly joins Jack (Thomas Hayden Church) and some ladies for dinner with one caveat, “I’m not drinking any fucking Merlot!”. Wine lovers, however, know the inside joke as Miles later consumes a bottle of 1961 Chateau Cheval Blanc out of a Styrofoam cup in a diner.
The predominant grape variety found in Cheval Blanc? Merlot.
Silence of the Lambs – 1991
While I have never eaten human liver, Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) apparently prefers it with “some fava beans and a nice Chianti.” This famous movie line was actually adjusted to suite the American market in which the movie was released. In Thomas Harris’ novel, Lectur actually tells Clarice that he prefers human liver with Amarone. At the time, Americans were not familiar with the now famous rich northern blend and it was thought the line would be over their heads, hence the change to the more popular “Chianti.”
And now the reason I wrote this blog in the first place,
The Odd Couple – 1968
I was recently watching this film for what may very well be the hundredth time. If you haven’t already seen this comedy classic than you must. There is a scene in which Oscar (Walter Matthau) comes home to find Felix (Jack Lemon) is preparing dinner. Oscar is in a fantastic mood as he trying to get Felix’s mind off his ex-wife and has invited some ladies over. Oscar bounds into the apartment and begins chatting with Felix in a derogatory but playful way…
“Felix, listen. I got the wine. Batard-Montrachet. $6.25. You don’t mind, do you, pussycat? We can walk to work this week. Ha ha! No, just kidding, Felix. You did a great job. One little suggestion– let’s come down a little bit with the lights and up very softly with the music, huh? Hey, do you think Mozart goes good with meat loaf? Ha ha ha.”
Anyone who loves wine and has seen this movie always stops dead in their tracks when this scene is on the screen.
Batard? For $6.25? What the hell? Why wasn’t I born 60 yeas ago?
I suddenly have the urge to buy a bottle of Olivier Leflaive Batard-Montrachet and sit down to watch The Odd Couple for the 101st time.