My husband had to tell me what “Netflix and Chill” actually meant the other night. The euphemism seems lost on those of us who shun social activity outside the home past
10pm 9pm, preferring instead to solicit GrubHub and filch our parents’ Netflix accounts. And just to be clear, I’m literally talking about watching Netflix on my couch in yoga pants, preferably with smoked meats and dark chocolate, obviously with wine. I particularly enjoy the documentaries, leading me to compile some of my all time favorites and decree the corresponding wines. For now, “wine genre” documentaries are excluded and will be lumped in a post all their own. Mere peasants such as us cannot afford to drink anything featured in A Year in Burgundy, thus requiring a little pairing guidance in order to ensure maximum fanciness on a Budweiser budget. But we’ll get to that later…
1. The Cove: Cava If you love sitting in a paddle pool of your own hot tears, this one’s for you. Winner of the Academy Award for Best Documentary in 2010, this film depicting the dolphin slaughtering fishing practices of Taiji, Japan will destroy you. Basically, local fisherman lure dolphins with sonar technology into a cove, trap them, and proceed to either sell them to Sea World type establishments or STAB THEM WITH EFFING SPEARS. MURDER.
Captured by hidden cameras, the dolphin meat finds its way to local supermarkets, sold as other types of fish but containing, you know, hella mercury. So, this is all wrong on many levels. The fisherman committing these heinous acts have torn their souls apart so many times they could have thousands of horcruxes- way worse than Voldemort. Good luck with that, Harry Potter. (Yeah, yeah I know they are not really to blame because cultural tradition/hardworking blue-collar jobs/they have families too blah blah blah..still…#dolphinmurder) The only reasonable wine I can pair with your descent into darkness is Cava…easy drinking as you pretend you’re not actually weeping over dolphins. Also, you can have this without food, a plus when the cove turns red from the blood of said cetacean carnage. As Spain’s expression of the Champagne technique, Cava boasts affordability without sacrificing deliciousness. Bright and bubbly, with citrus and floral aromas, the acidity will cut through your deep despair and at least make you thankful that you’re not accidentally eating tainted dolphin steaks on the regs. South Park produced a genius parody of this film entitled “Whale Whores”, conveniently also on Netflix for free.
I promise, it will make you feel better.
2. 6 Days to Air: NZ Sauvignon Blanc See? I told you South Park would cheer you up after The Cove. Now you’re primed and ready to watch 6 Days to Air, a short documentary detailing the process in which an episode of South Park is created, start to finish. The featured episode, “HumancentiPad”, pokes fun at the terms and conditions updates often posed by iTunes that no one ever reads before clicking “agree”. This evolves into a totally ridiculous scenario involving a parody of The Human Centipede. PSA: do not watch this movie…it’s 45 slow minutes followed by the most horrifying/disgusting 25 minutes of “B horror” you’ve ever seen. And it has a sequel.
Anyway, 6 Days to Air captures the seriously creative minds behind South Park in their natural, satirical, and uninhibited habitat, void of all political correctness…basically sitting around a table laughing their asses off as they craft the episode.
Watching them record the character dialogue in the studio may be funnier than the actual show…almost. As you sit there wishing you worked at South Park Studios, I recommend a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. A wine often associated with “cat pee” aromas, it seems only appropriate for the current subject. We aren’t talking literal piss here, just that “potent sharpness” of said odor. An NZSB can’t really be compared to any other expression of the grape, with a super green and zesty herbaceous profile and hints of tropical fruit. ZING. It’s delicious. Be a little fancy and drink it with some goat cheese as a counter to the hilarious crassness. Try one from the Marlborough Valley and it’ll be hard to go wrong.
3. Planet Earth-Mountains: Garnacha My tolerance for the outdoors extends to activities that can be completed wine glass in hand i.e. sitting on patios or playing croquet (read: swinging a mallet around pretending you know what the hell you’re doing without spilling your rosé. I enjoy pretending I am Thor.) Enter David Attenborough, personal guide to the nature.
The Planet Earth documentary series enthralled me before Netflix was a thing back in college. (Shout out to my then boyfriend now husband for gifting me the box set circa 2009) The mountains episode encapsulates all of my favorite things: snow, big cats, ethereal string music, and British people saying “glacier” (glass-ee-uh). Also baby pandas.
But if we’re being honest, the snow leopards are the real stars, hunting on film for the first time in history.Those wenches just love the camera. And ripping apart mountain goats.
They even went on to get their own BBC special, like some type of cat Kardashians. Spicy Spanish Garnacha pairs perfectly with the aforementioned crag felines.With dried black cherry, peppery graphite shavings, and a delightful allspice finish, Garnacha is so hot right now. Try Punto y Coma 2009 for around $10 (!!!!CHEAP!!!!!). With chewy tannins screaming for meat, brisket from your local BBQ hole in the wall will not disappoint.
4. The Imposter: Chilean Cab There’s not much to say here except WTF, which I said every 2 minutes during The Imposter. A child goes missing in Texas, shows up in Spain 3 years later (wut), and returns to a welcoming family. Too bad he sports a French accent, radically different features, and is 7 years older than the kid he claims to be.
Turns out *shocker* that this man is NOT Nicholas Barclay, the missing child in question, but actually Frédéric Bourdin, a Frenchman who gets his kicks by assuming false identities, including children who’ve disappeared. The best part of this movie is that it took a freaking private investigator and FBI agent to unravel this “great impersonation”. Good job, guys!! Uhhhhh this guy is liiiiiike older and liiiiiike French and so maybe he’s not who he says he is…Bourdin eventually confessed and has since ceased his impersonations. I think he had a bad childhood or something, so I guess it’s cool, man. Note: he went to prison for 6 years and is now married (let’s see a doc about that). Unfortunately, Nicholas Barclay remains missing. So, to the wine. I’ve chosen Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon, a wine with a Bordeaux-infused history that can be said to “impersonate” one of France’s most famous regions. (See what I did there? It’s like the wine goes with the movie theme or something. #cleverAF) Expect notes of berry compote, cassis, red pepper, and thirsty tannins. Have this with a bacon cheeseburger and rejoice. With the best juice coming from the foothills of the Andes, the cooler climates of Puente Alto, Cachapoal Valley, and Alto Maipo will certainly please for under $20.
5. Jiro Dreams of Sushi: Oregon Pinot Gris General disclaimer: Watch yourself and do not get too “wined” or else YOU WILL BE LOST. This shiz is in JAPANESE so you need to follow the subtitles. That being said, the movie is insanely beautiful and will probably make you cry irrationally. Like, Jiro loves sushi so much. It’s his art, his passion, and basically reminds you why you majored in music (ME) or underwater basket weaving. With a soundtrack any classical music nerd will appreciate (mucho Philip Glass), Jiro and his son/team of hopeful minions construct beautifully simple sushi dishes in a Tokyo subway station, a feat earning 3 Michelin Stars over the years. Guests enjoy a 20 or more course meal, and the restaurant’s waitlist books up months in advance with only 10 counter seats available. But if you’re President Obama, you get to go with the Prime Minister of Japan-#hosslyfe. You may wonder why I’m pushing an Oregon wine with this one…my logic is you will pick up some plebe sushi, realize your food is sub par compared to Jiro’s magical creations, and be sad. But at least your wine will taste awesome with your meal, despite its shortcomings.
Oregon continues to impress not only with Pinot Noir, but with its various clones such as Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc. The Pinot Gris proves refreshing and limey, with a semi-generous texture (think 2% milk rather than skim or cream etc). Duck Pond makes a fabulous Gris for under $20 that will pair splendidly with sushi…and/or the realization of your lost passions. BONUS: Go to Sukiyabashi Jiro’s website and translate into English for a good time. #2blessedtobestressed
That’ll do it for today, 5 readers. Go forth and learn something wilst being slightly tipsy. See you next week for a special Thanksgiving edition.