Murder! Meryl! Monterey wines? Season two of HBO's Big Little Lies is here, and eagle-eyed viewers will spot yet another plot twist: The Monterey Five will be filling their many glasses with Monterey wines this time around.
“It just made sense: This is our backyard,” Monterey County Vintners & Growers Association president and Caraccioli Cellars owner Scott Caraccioli told Unfiltered via email. Caraccioli watched the first season, as Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley and co. chattered and connived in the heart of Central Coast Pinot and Chardonnay country—over pours from places like Napa and Livermore. He contacted the producers: How about getting some local libations up onscreen?
“We felt it was important to take the initiative, and having a show with such traction set in our home is a real opportunity," Caraccioli said. "BLL adds to the authenticity of their landscape by including the wines that people locally really drink."
MCVGA executive director Kim Stemler then facilitated the delivery of 33 brands of Monterey, Santa Cruz and Santa Lucia Highlands wines and beers to the production's prop team, from national names like Hahn and Mer Soleil to boutique achievers like Bernardus and Wrath. Caraccioli told Unfiltered that the HBO team was suitably inspired to the point they even scouted area vineyards as potential shooting locations, so we may yet be in for some intrigue among the vines.
As for which bottles will be making cameos, Stemler couldn't confirm, but added, “They actually pour the wine out and replace it with colored water. Let’s hope they saved the wine for after work.” (Probably: Star Zoë Kravitz told ET that the cast partook plenty behind the scenes: "We all love our wine. It is the wine that binds us." And Caraccioli was on hand at the HBO premiere to pour his bubbly.)
The show has created an uptick in tourism—and, thus, wine tourism—to Monterey already, but for viewers at home, MCVGA made a fun little drinking game so fans can imbibe along with the posh moms: Big Little Wines Bingo. There are five (of course) cards with the names of Monterey bottles and brews provided to the show on the squares; spot a wine, take a drink. First player to down a flight wins—ironic, perhaps, given how season one ended.
Last we checked on North Bay wine country's home NBA team, the Golden State Warriors, they had dispatched Willamette Valley wine country's home team, the Portland Trail Blazers—and Sonoma gambler-winemakers won a ton of Pinot off their Oregon counterparts. Something about the Warriors apparently gets California wine folks in a betting mood—they are more often than not the ones popping bubbly in the end—and this week's Finals against the Toronto Raptors brings word of another wine wager, this one with an element of political intrigue.
In a statement released Monday before game 5, U.S. House Speaker (and Napa Valley vineyard owner) Nancy Pelosi and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a friendly bet on which team would take home the prize, with the winner of the wager taking home a prize of their own: a supply of goodies from their opponent’s home region. If the Warriors win, Trudeau has vowed to send Pelosi a basket of locally-made goods from across Canada. If the Raptors win, Pelosi will gift Trudeau a selection of Ghirardelli chocolates from San Francisco, California almonds and walnuts, and some California wine.
Though there's no word on which wines Pelosi is considering for her potential gift basket, Trudeau is already prepping his palate for the treat. "The Raptors are making history and they aren’t done yet. We’re going all the way, Canada. Ghirardelli chocolates and a glass of California wine are going to pair nicely with the Raptors’ first NBA title," the PM said in the statement. "We the North."
But Pelosi seems equally confident: "The only thing sweeter than watching Golden State once again become world champions is doing so while enjoying a selection of Canada’s finest," she said. It sounded like fun and games at first, but as we saw when Pelosi personally ordered a questionable Kevin Durant to take the court in Monday's game, Warrior wine wagerers play to win.
The Raptors are still leading 3-2 in the series; with Game 6 tonight, the ball is in anyone's court.
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