Every year about this time my wife and I indulge in a movie marathon to try to see as many of the Oscar-nominated films as possible. That way, when they open the envelopes during Sunday’s broadcast, we know what we’re pulling for.
It occurs to me that we could support our favorites by drinking appropriate wines over the course of the evening.
For The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, you could line up a vertical tasting. Start with the oldest vintage and progress to the youngest, just as the title character reverse-ages in the movie.
Fans of The Reader, which takes place in Germany, need only open a nice bottle of Riesling spätlese. The action shifts among the late-1950s, late-1960s and mid-1990s. Take your pick of vintage dates, or drink something fresh and young, like the protagonist early in the film.
I noticed a number of wine placements in Milk, which features Sean Penn’s spot-on performance as assassinated gay rights leader and San Francisco supervisor Harvey Milk. In one early scene, I spied a bottle of E. Guigal, probably a Côte-Rôtie (which the characters could have afforded in the 1970s). That would not be a bad choice, but the door is open for any California wine.
The characters spend some time drinking good wines in Frost/Nixon, the story behind David Frost’s interviews with the disgraced ex-president, also set in the 1970s. But I can’t help thinking of an oft-told story about Nixon and wine. At a party on the yacht Sequoia, the story goes, he poured vin ordinaire for his guests while he kept a bottle of Haut-Brion, carefully wrapped in a napkin, at his side for himself. If you choose to emulate Nixon, at least share a few sips with your friends.
I don’t know what to suggest for Slumdog Millionaire, the story of an overachiever from the poverty-stricken streets of Mumbai who wins the girl by going on the Indian version of the TV show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. Wine makes no appearances, and I don’t know if I can recommend any available wines from India.
(By the way, I’ll be drinking Riesling.)