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Red Carpet Wines Fit for Hollywood

Our guide to hosting an Oscars party with wines matched to top nominees and bites inspired by the Governor's Ball

Stephanie Cain
Posted: March 2, 2010

With the 82nd Annual Academy Awards just days away, it’s time to start making your predictions for Oscar winners … and planning your party. If you expect your guests to watch both the red carpet arrivals and the entire telecast, that’s six hours of your Sunday night in need of food and drink.

You may be no Wolfgang Puck, who whips out 24-karat-gold-encrusted chocolate desserts in the shape of Oscar statuettes for the post-Oscars Governor’s Ball, but you can still craft a Hollywood-worthy soiree of your own. Go for these afterparty-inspired bites, including minted chèvre wrapped in smoked salmon, truffled popcorn and warm chocolate cake, for a taste of Oscar night. Since you mark your ballots according to your favorite performances, why not drink a wine fit for each nominee? Highlighted in our Oscar entertaining roundup are 10 wines to match the personalities of nominees in five major categories. Lights, camera, action!

Best Supporting Actress

The first awards of the night go out to the best supporting actors and actresses. Penelope Cruz, nominated for her role in the musical film Nine, goes up against a breakout star, entertainer Mo’nique. Cruz often receives acclaim for her acting, but more frequently for her elegant presence on the red carpet, always arriving flawless. Like the Iberian beauty in a gorgeous Oscar de la Renta gown, a fine and elegant Spanish wine flows effortlessly, easy on the palate like Cruz is on the eyes. To counter that smooth elegance, Mo’nique is sassy, vivacious and loudly confident. Nominated for her performance as Mary Lee Johnston in Precious, Mo’nique echoes the fruit-forward and spicy notes of a bold Australian Shiraz.

This sinuous red delivers both intensity and elegance, with smoky oak notes floating around boysenberry, mineral and licorice flavors. The tannins are well-integrated and give way to a perfumed finish. Drink now through 2015.—T.M.

See more Top Value Spanish reds.

Bright, vibrant and jazzy with raspberry, blackberry and dusky spice aromas and flavors that linger on the lively finish. Drink now through 2012. 5,000 cases imported.—H.S.

See more Top Value Australian reds.

Best Supporting Actor

Christoph Waltz has walked away with almost every award in this category this season. He’s an Austrian actor who now lives in Germany playing a German soldier in the best picture-nominated Inglourious Basterds. For Waltz fans, the Oscar nod calls for an off-dry German Riesling. All his winning, however, hasn’t stopped Matt Damon from hoping for an Oscar for acting. (He already has one for writing Good Will Hunting with Ben Affleck.) Spotlighted for his role as François Pienaar in the apartheid-rugby-allegory film Invictus, Damon is young in terms of talented, big-name Hollywood stars. Since he was nominated for his performance in a South African story, drink a bright Stellenbosch Sauvignon Blanc with staying power.

Driven by its mineral side, this white offers a mix of stone, pineapple, peach and grapefruit. Lively and balanced, lingering with a juicy, peppery finish. Drink now through 2016. 20,000 cases made.—B.S.

See more Top Value German Riesling.

Lively, with a bright core of grapefruit and lemon peel notes backed by mouthwatering acidity. The long, floral-tinged finish lets it all linger. Very tasty. Drink now. 5,000 cases made.—J.M.

See more Top Value South African wines.

Best Actress

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