Trailers From Hell is featuring more movies you never heard of this week, so my wine selections should be easy pairings – more wines you never heard of. Wine aficionados and movie buffs say those are the best ones, anyway. Everybody likes to think they are a cult of one. In my younger days, music at my place was like “stump the band.” If you had ever heard it anywhere else, it wouldn’t find my turntable. My fondness for Bruce Springsteen’s music knew no limits in those years, but diminished with each of my friends who signed on as believers. Oh, I still liked him as a superstar, it just wasn’t the same with everyone else on board.
The Admiral is a 2014 South Korean film, one of the many which did not receive an Academy Award for Best Picture. The South Korean director who did win mentioned that he would proceed to drink until dawn. That is something, I am told, directors are sometimes given to do – whether they win an Oscar or not.
Admiral Yi Sun-sin has just 13 battleships against a 300-ship Japanese fleet in the Battle of Myeongryang. So this is a movie you’ve never heard of, as well as a movie the details of which you cannot pronounce. Perhaps it pairs with a Scotch whisky, most of which no one can pronounce, either, like Bunnahabhain. Or an ornery beer, like Westvleteren 12. Let’s get sweet with a German Riesling classified as Trockenbeerenauslese.
From 2004, 800 Bullets is a Spanish film by director Álex de la Iglesias. He is listed further down in the Iglesias Google search than Enrique, Julio and Gabriel combined. Much further. A film which is a tip of the Pale Rider hat to Spaghetti westerns should be an easy Italian choice, but hold on, amico. Those films were shot in Almería, Spain, as was 800 Bullets, just across the Alboran Sea from Morocco. A wine from the southern reaches of the Iberian peninsula? Sherry, perhaps! Not unless granny was a stunt double. Those daredevils deserve a strong, spicy, peppery red wine that lives it up and ages fast. Break out a cheap Garnacha from anywhere in Spain. Screwcap! Action!
Documentaries often appear on lists of movies you haven’t seen, and that goes double for non-narrative documentaries like 1992’s Baraka. Maybe you also didn’t see the 2012 sequel, Samsara. Filmed in 23 different countries, Baraka shows image after image after striking image, without many words. As a wine writer, I am always looking for words to describe what I taste. Pictures are for marketers, so they can grab your attention on a crowded wine store shelf with kittens and kangaroos and such.
If you are adventurous enough to watch Baraka, you are probably adventurous enough to seek out the namesake Croatian wine, produced across the Adriatic Sea from Italy. The Baraka Prisbus Riserva is a Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blend that’s been in the cellar for three years and sports a very conservative label, sans critters.