by Randy Fuller Dec 22, 2022

Pairing‌ ‌wine‌ ‌with‌ ‌movies!‌  ‌See‌ ‌the‌ ‌trailers‌ ‌and‌ ‌hear‌ ‌the‌ ‌fascinating‌ ‌commentary‌ ‌for‌ ‌these‌ ‌movies‌ ‌and‌ ‌many‌ ‌more‌ ‌at‌ ‌Trailers‌ ‌From‌ ‌Hell.‌ This week, our three movies concern L.A.’s favorite obsession – after movies, of course – cars. There is a wine pairing for each. Let’s get revved up.

Gumball Rally is a 1976 laffer about a coast-to-coast auto race with no rules – rather like Can-Am racing with less horsepower. A rich candy manufacturer, overcome with ennui, gets his car enthusiast pals together for the rally – which he hopes will liven up his humdrum life.

It’s a car-chase movie, so you know there is a hitch. In this case, the hitch is a bumbling L.A. cop who has made a career out of trying to apprehend the racers. You can bet your greasy camshaft that he will try and shut down the race at any cost. Never mind that there must be an infinite number of more pressing matters for the police to handle – this cop has a one-track mind.

The Gumball Rally was won by the AC Cobra, so a snake wine might be the pairing temptation here – a bottle of wine with a snake in it. Really. However, after reading multiple accounts of people being bitten by snakes which came back to life upon opening the bottle – really – we are going to discard that idea.

In honor of the film’s lead actor – Michael Sarrazin – let’s go with a namesake wine from Burgundy. Domaine Michel Sarrazin et Fils has a great range of Bourgognes – we can call them Pinot Noirs – from $25. The reds are recommended to match the color of Sarrazin’s AC Cobra.

That same bicentennial year, Ron Howard starred in Eat My Dust. Producer Roger Corman agreed to let Howard direct a movie of his own if he took the lead in Dust. It proved to be a good move for all concerned, since the payoff picture was Grand Theft Auto, and who doesn’t wish they had a piece of that pie?

Dust has Howard as the son of a lawman who does not make papa proud. He steals a race car and leads dad and his deputies on a pursuit that would be the envy of the reporter in the Channel Two Traffic Copter. Trivia fans will note that the film features Dave Madden and Corbin Bernson in smaller roles. Nepotism fans will note that Howard’s dad Rance and brother Clint also had roles. It is, indeed, who you know.

Napa Valley’s Flora Springs Winery makes a Howell Mountain Cab called Dust and Glory, so at your Eat My Dust viewing party you can invite guests to drink yours. You’ll want to keep the invitees to a select few, since this Dust sells for $175 a bottle.

In 1977’s Smokey and the Bandit, Burt Reynolds starred alongside Jackie Gleason, Pat McCormick, Paul Williams, Jerry Reed and Sally Field – whom he first met on the set. The story is as flimsy as a fiberglass fender. A truckload of Coors beer has to make it from Texas to Georgia no matter how many police cars get wrecked along the way. All that car carnage for Coors beer? There’s no accounting for taste.

Smokey started out as a cash-in on the CB radio fad of the 1970s, but ended up being a big part of the trend. It also helped crown Reynolds as the king of the box office for a while. Jerry Reed wrote his biggest hit for the picture – “East Bound and Down” – which is good enough hick-pop for my money but is certainly no “Amos Moses.”

Jackie Gleason as Sheriff Buford T. Justice was an over-the-top revelation, recasting the mold of the Fat Southern Cop while adding Sumbitch – or Scum Bum in the edited for TV version – to a Gleason lexicon which includes “How sweet it is,” “And awaaay we go” and “To the moon, Alice.”

This wine and movie pairing is a no-brainer. Bandit Wines was co-founded by Joel Gott. The super-eco-friendly Tetra Pak cartons don’t scream “box wine” so much as they do “milk,” and they are depicted as being portable enough to slip into your cargo shorts for a hike. Just remember that drinking and hiking don’t mix. Y’all hike careful, now, heah?

Randy Fuller
NowAnd Zin Wine –
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