Blood of the Vines – Bell, Book and Candle

by TFH Team Dec 19, 2013
Kim Novak and James Stewart may have been feeling a bit dizzy from “Vertigo” when they teamed up again less than a year later for “Bell, Book and Candle.”  This romantic comedy is set in Manhattan, during the Christmas season.  The story revolves around
a subculture of witches there.
Despite the beautiful cinematography, the backdrop of real-life witchcraft has always made me feel that New York City is a much weirder place than people are letting on.  See “Rosemary’s Baby” for more on that angle.  “Bell, Book and Candle” is, however, a beautifully shot movie and makes a great way to kick off the holiday season.

That is, if you don’t concentrate too much on the meaning of the title.  A bell, book and candle are used in excommunication rites, so linking that imagery with the Christmas season may seem a bit Grinchly. If you just focus on the scenery and the love story, you should be ready to go out and nail up those decorations afterward.

Because of the feline costar of “Bell, Book and Candle,” Pyewacket became a popular name for cats.  Apparently, cats are closely bonded to witches – chalk up one more reason to be a dog person.  I’ve never known any cats named Pyewacket, but I have known a few I thought may have been possessed.
On a bewitching musical note, Jack Lemmon lending bongo accompaniment to a jazz band’s rendetion of “Stormy Weather” in the Greenwich Village club where all the witches hang out is not to be missed.  There are some pretty snappy dressers in that crowd – I guess the beatniks turned out for the late show.
There are no beatniks at Carlsbad, California’s Witch Creek Winery, but they are loaded for bear in the cat department.  Le Chat Blanc would seem to be the white witch, while Screaming Kitty, their 2008 Proprietary Red blend, features Petite Sirah, Zinfandel and Primitivo.  Their Chateau Neuf Du Cat screams sour cherry and a puff of smoke.  Let us know if a witch appears when you open the bottle.  It sells for $23 and is available only through the winery.
Witch Other Wines?

Black Cat Vineyard – A Napa Valley producer with no critter labels or funny names on their wines.


Bonny Doon Ca’ del Solo Muscat 2009 – Monterey Moscato Giallo grapes in this bewitching white.  $16


Wine Witch – This website can help you locate good bargain wines without casting a spell.


Witch Wine Bottle Holder – This witch looks nothing like Kim Novak, but she comes with a black cat stopper.  Bottle not included.  $34


Wine Witch T-Shirt – $35 for a T-shirt?  You’d have to cast a pretty good spell to move this.


Wine Witch Bottle Topper Set – Do people really buy this stuff?  The magic must have worn off – it’s on sale for $6.




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