When that question came to mind, I turned to the one and only source for factual information – the internet. I found that someone had already been curious about that topic, and had asked Yahoo Answers the very same question. There was a scant response to the question – c’mon people, it’s the internet! Have an opinion! – and a few choices were tossed out there, including Valpolicella, Chianti and Amarone. Good choices, but let’s be sure before we view The Godfather.
Brando’s Corleone does say in the movie that in his advancing years he likes drinking wine more than he used to. To which his son Michael replies “It’s good for ya pop!”
The Don might like a Moscato out in the garden when he’s sticking an orange peel in his mouth, but it’s hard to imagine The Godfather as a white wine kind of guy.
The fact that Corleone is Sicilian might suggest we look to some of the wines that volcanic island is known for. Dessert wine is a possibility. Sweet wines often pair well with their opposites, and The Don certainly seems to be the opposite of sweet. The Godfather might use Marsala to cook with, if he cooked, but he wouldn’t drink it.
Chianti? He likes canellinni beans, not fava beans. Anyway, that’s a different movie. Some have suggested to me that Corleone might enjoy a Barolo. That’s not a bad suggestion, but the Nebbiolo grape is primarily from the northern part of Italy, not Sicily. Also, Barolo is considered a strong and forceful wine. The Godfather might tend to look at anything with a jaundiced eye if he felt it might threaten his power and standing – especially if it was from another neighborhood.
Corleone would probably like a nice Nero d’Avola, a hearty red wine that’s full-bodied – like the Don – and usually not blended, but allowed to stand on its own two feet, like a man. Corleone would love that stance, even though he preferred to have others dependent upon him. The grape actually comes from Avola, which is on the other side of Sicily from the Don’s birthplace of Corleone. Is there, however, a winemaker in Avola who would deny The Godfather a bottle of his finest?