Best Actor winner Will Smith wasn't the only one bubbling up at the 94th Academy Award ceremony on March 27. Thousands of bottles of wine also lost their tops—in a good way—and they came from two longtime Academy favorites: Francis Ford Coppola’s lineup of California wines and Brad Pitt's Fleur de Miraval Brut Rosé Champagne. This was Coppola's sixth year sponsoring the Oscars, while Château Miraval filled the vacated seat of longtime sponsor Champagne Piper-Heidsieck.
"My favorite part about the partnership is honoring Francis Ford Coppola's legacy as an icon of film," Coppola's director of winemaking Andrea Card told Wine Spectator via email. "There's no bigger night in movies, and to bring great wine and beautiful gold bottles into the mix is truly special."
The Sonoma winery poured its 2020 Chardonnay and 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon at the event, held at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles. Coppola also provided a few 3-liter bottles for the Governor's Ball after-party. Card, who's been making wine at Coppola for the past two years, compared the wines to some of the nominated films. "The Cabernet is lush and robust, similar to a film like Dune with its large scale, sweeping landscapes and incredible score," she said. "As for the Chardonnay, it’s very smooth with some bright notes, which I’d compare to a film like Licorice Pizza."
The official Champagne of Hollywood’s biggest night belonged to Oscar winner Pitt, who recently launched a rosé Champagne project called Fleur de Miraval with Rhône winemaker Marc Perrin and Champagne Pierre Péters' sixth-generation winemaker Rodolphe Péters. The Champagne poured at the event and after-party was a 75/25 blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, respectively, from vineyards in Champagne’s Côte des Blancs.
"Champagne Fleur de Miraval may be best known worldwide for its co-founder Brad Pitt, making it only natural that it will now be the Champagne of the greatest stars of the silver screen and of all those who contribute to cinema’s beauty and success around the world," Perrin told Wine Spectator. "The intense dedication to the arts shared by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the house of Fleur de Miraval is even more evident than usual during this very special ceremony."
"Intense" and "special" are just two of the ways we’ll remember this year's Oscars ceremony, at which Smith slapped comedian and presenter Chris Rock. Moments later, co-host Amy Schumer, who plays a wine sales rep in Hulu's new comedy Life & Beth, helped diffuse the tension. "I’ve been getting out of the Spider-Man costume. Did I miss anything?" she said to a quiet room of 2,500 guests. "There’s, like, a different vibe in here …." At least there was Champagne.
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