After the recent success of our venture into film and wine matching with 3 Superhero Wine Pairings to Marvel About, we thought the timely Oscars begged we give it another go.
The 90th Academy Awards (better known as the Oscars) starts this Sunday 4 March in the States. Mark Hamill, the Star Wars actor, says he’ll be watching the Oscars from home in his pyjamas this year. We thought we would help him settle into the evening by matching three of our favourite Oscar nominees with some truly unique wine.
Martin McDonagh is one of my favourite writers. His dark humour and powerful storytelling suit Three Billboards perfectly and the casting of Frances McDormand is an inspiring choice. Her performance in this film is unforgettable as a mother on a mission to see justice.
Having already bagged the BAFTA for best film, Three Billboards is certainly in the running for the top Oscar nod. However, what could Hamill possibly savour alongside this very funny, violent and surprisingly moving film?
We’re going to gun for the sublime Quady’s 2006 Vintage Starboard from California. This deep, indulgent fortified wine takes inspiration from vintage port and is layered with tannic, brooding dark fruit, vanilla and cocoa notes. Just like Three Billboards it’s timeless enjoyment – it will drink well (and even improve) well into 2027 – and provides both dark complexity and sweet delight.
I loved the drama of Darkest Hour, a recent Winston Churchill biopic focusing on his rise to power during the second World War. While visually dark, Gary Oldman shines – for the most part – as the iconic Churchill. His charisma manages to go beyond the fat suit he’s wearing and embodies Churchill’s dogged determinism to see through his plans.
Whether or not Darkest Hour can win its other award – the gong for Best Picture – I’m not sure, but as a character Gary Oldman has got to be in the top running for Best Actor (although he is up against the brilliant Daniel Kaluuya from Get Out). If you haven’t seen this film and enjoy lively, provocative drama, you will no doubt find Oldman electrifying.
We have cheated a little on the wine pairing here. Instead we’ve opted for our brand-new gin: Foxdenton The Original 48 London Dry from Buckingham. This unashamedly full-strength gin from distiller Charles Maxwell uses juniper, coriander seeds, lemon peel, lime flower, angelica and orris root to create a tipple that’s perfect for a Great British G&T. With it’s kick-ass 48% ABV and clean, charismatic taste, we think it’s Darkest Hour’s best friend.
We couldn’t get away with writing a wine and film match for Mark Hamill without bringing up Star Wars, could we? It has been nominated for Best Original Score – which was composed by the legendary John Williams (think Indiana Jones, Harry Potter, Jaws, etc.) – and Best Visual Effects.
This billion-dollar blockbuster was really good fun to watch and visually stunning. It may join the long line of big theatricals to be snubbed for major awards at the Oscars but it was one of the most enjoyable films of 2017. Emotional, eye-popping action and an added villainous twist made this an exciting sequel to the new saga.
Thinking about things we know and love – that are frightfully enjoyable – we wanted to take the concept of Austrian wines, which have become famous for their quality whites, and introduce you to Eschenhof Holzer’s Zweigelt. This simple, no fuss, fruity and spicy red wine is one of my favourite by the glass or with a big block of cheese. We’re pretty confident it’s the ideal, playful red wine for Hamill to enjoy alongside his latest film. Let’s hope it bags an Oscar!