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It’s Alive!

by Randy Fuller May 11, 2020

Pairing wine with movies!  See the trailers and hear the fascinating commentary for these movies and many more at Trailers From Hell.  What else are you doing while stuck at home?

Wine aficionados like to think that wine is a living entity.  It breathes!  Let the wine BREEEEATHE and it really “comes alive.”  It evolves!  That’s why wine is aged, and why it tastes different over the years as it gets older.  Sure, wine comes from living things – grapes.  But those grapes gave their lives to make that bottle.  A bottle from which you’re probably drinking, since the pandemic has caused us to drop such societal niceties as stemware.

All those dead grapes have me thinking that if wine is anything, it’s a monster, created from once-living parts to do the bidding of its master.  Bwa-ha-ha-ha-haaaa.

Son of Frankenstein came along in 1938, a good vintage for horror at Universal Studios.  Boris Karloff turns in another great visual performance as the monster, while Bela Lugosi plays grave-robbing lab assistant Ygor.  The original Dr. Frankenstein’s son – a baron – is around this time.  He still feels a chill from the villagers after the monster’s mayhem years before.  The torches and pitchforks are still kept within easy reach, just in case.

Speaking of a case, let’s try Hans Wirsching’s Iphöfer Kronsberg Silvaner Trocken.  It comes in the Mateus-shaped bottle known as a bocksbeutel, the traditional bottling of the Franken region.  This product of Silvaner grapes is dry and bold, with a crisp minerality.  Try it – just for Frankenstein – with torch-toasted marshmallows.

http://www.wirsching.de/en

Four years later the monster gets a makeover in The Ghost of Frankenstein, with Lon Chaney, Jr. taking over between the bolts.  The villagers are still pissed – I’ll bet they are not handling the pandemic quarantine very well.  The mayor, who should have just bought everyone a drink, lets them burn down the Frankenstein castle instead.  Huge mistake.  The big fella ends up getting Ygor’s brain, which was fine since Ygor wasn’t really using it anyway.

Frankenstein Wine is a Grenache/Syrah/Mourvèdre blend from California’s Sierra Nevada wine region, like you care.  You’re plunking down $60 for the label.  The monster takes a nice headshot here.

https://www.personalwine.com/accessories/frankenstein-red-blend

1943’s Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man has Lugosi donning the monster clothes, while Chaney unleashes the Wolf Man.  They return to the scene of the most recent destruction just in time for the Festival of the New Wine – how lucky!  After hobnobbing with the local officials, the Wolf Man – in human form- decides to try and tinker with Frankenstein’s monster, just for old times’ sake.  Cue the villagers – they are not having it.

Pick any wine from the Alsatian Grand Cru Frankstein Vineyard.  I know, not actually Frankenstein, but it’s close.  Oh, wait…

https://www.vinsalsace.com/en/grands-crus/frankstein/

South Africa’s Radford Dale Winery has a Pinotage called Frankenstein.  They say the name was given due to the bad reputation the Pinotage grape has for being harsh and medicinal.  They say if the grape is treated meanly it will show its angry side.  Pinotage, they say, “is not a monster; it is a soul with a heart and one which will repay kindness with abundant generosity of its own.  Keep your pitchforks in the barn.

https://www.samsmith.com/products/Radford-Dale-Frankenstein-Pinotage-p-000047074