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A Clambake of Queens

by Randy Fuller Dec 06, 2023

Pairing‌ ‌wine‌ ‌with‌ ‌movies!‌  ‌See‌ ‌the‌ ‌trailers‌ ‌and‌ ‌hear‌ ‌the‌ ‌fascinating‌ ‌commentary‌ ‌for‌ ‌these‌ ‌movies‌ ‌and‌ ‌many‌ ‌more‌ ‌at‌ ‌Trailers‌ ‌From‌ ‌Hell.‌ This week, we screen three films with the word “queen” in the title while wondering where a clambake fits in. Oh, and we have wine pairings for each film. And maybe for the clambake, too.

Let’s start with the top queen in the deck, Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. There was a British sparkling wine released for her 70th anniversary on the throne. It was a 2016 vintage blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, of which Her Highness was presumably quite fond. Not that the royal public information officer was at liberty to release any such information. Let’s get to the movies.

https://www.internationalwinechallenge.com/Canopy-Articles/what-do-we-know-about-the-queens-wine.html#

Barbarian Queen is a 1985 action-packed film from Argentina. I’ve seen it referenced as a classic, so it must be so. It is also hiding in some places under a different title, Queen of the Naked Steel. The one sheet for Barbarian shows off plenty of naked and plenty of steel. Roger Corman went to Argentina in the 1980s and they wouldn’t let him leave until he had made ten pictures. This is one of them.

The film is a sort of female version of Conan the Barbarian. A group of women set out for vengeance against marauders who attacked on the day of a wedding in the village. There is plenty of violence involved in their revenge, both by and against the ladies. As you might guess, several of the women are subjected to sexual assault and torture. This movie may have its legion of fans, but you won’t find it screening at Wokefest2024.

Australian producer Fowles has a line called Ladies Who Shoot Their Lunch. This collection of styles, from Pinot Gris to Shiraz, gives a gentlemanly tip of the hat to the female hunter/gatherers from the land down under.

https://www.fowleswine.com/collections/ladies-who-shoot-their-lunch

1951’s The African Queen pairs Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn as a boat captain and a British missionary. Their trouble-plagued trip down a river in German East Africa would make Colonel Kurtz green with envy. The film earned Bogie his one and only Academy Award. No statue for Kate? How did that happen? Oh, Vivien Leigh won it for Streetcar Named Desire. Okay, I guess I’ll let it go. It still doesn’t seem right, though.

The steamboat which bears the name African Queen was reportedly once owned by actor Fess Parker. Parker’s name is also on a Santa Barbara County winery. How convenient.

Fess Parker Winery makes a Syrah from Rodney’s Vineyard, their main estate plot. Just a suggestion, as they offer a lengthy line of wines which capture the terroir to near perfection.

https://www.fessparkerwineshop.com/Wines/California#FessParker

Zsa Zsa Gabor stars in 1958’s Queen of Outer Space. The film is set waaay in the future (cue the theramin and zoom the camera in and out) in 1985! Yes, the year when mankind would travel to Venus, the female planet. What a disappointment to get there and find that it is ruled by a cruel dictatrix. That’s not Zsa Zsa, by the way.

There is little to no surprise in finding out that it all works out well in the end. Zsa Zsa’s character even gets a nice promotion, from beautiful tour guide to… well, I’ll not spoil it for you, except to say that the tiara fits her to a T.

Zsa Zsa reportedly taste-tested some California wines on The Tonight Show in the late 1960s, and found them to her liking. Did she single handedly catapult Napa Valley to wine world dominance with her blessing? More likely that credit goes to the Judgment of Paris, but it’s nice to know that Zsa Zsa was on the right side of history.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judgment_of_Paris_(wine)

Hahndorf Hills Winery of Australia’s Adelaide Hills region makes a Zsa Zsa Zweigelt. They say they were the first to grow the German grape in Australia, so they must know what they’re doing. Do they know that Zsa Zsa was Hungarian? Who cares? How often do you get a chance to drink a Zweigelt wine?

https://www.hahndorfhillwinery.com.au/Red-Wines

If you are intent on having a clambake, or any sort of party-oriented meal featuring shellfish, try a Muscadet. The Loire Valley bottling is sometimes labeled as Melon de Bourgogne, even though it is not from Burgundy and has nothing to do with melons. You’ll be pleased with it as a crisp accompaniment to a clambake, crabwalk, lobster party or crawfish boil. Well, actually, have a beer with the crawfish.

Randy Fuller
NowAnd Zin Wine – www.nowandzin.com
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