‘Tis the season for holiday movies. Our next guest has some wine suggestions to make watching them more festive this year.
Here with her picks is Natalie MacLean who offers Canada’s most popular online wine classes at nataliemaclean.com.
Before we get to your pairings, why are classic movies such a big part of the holiday season?
Holiday movies are often more cringe-worthy than binge-worthy, yet we continue to watch them for their predictably happily-ever-after as a maladaptive COVID copying strategy.
Hallmark alone has produced 136 holiday movies, and now has even has its only wines, a Cabernet Sauvignon called Jingle and a Sauvignon Blanc named Joy.
There’s a comforting retro-appeal to these films that goes back to when we were children and couldn’t read but could recite the books by heart that we loved the most when our parents read them to us.
It’s that mushy, gloopy togetherness that we’re all yearning for right now . . . and there’s a wine for that, in fact several!
A Christmas Carol
Let’s start with a clip from one of the most classic holiday movies adapted from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.
Which wines are you pairing with this movie?
Ghost Pines Pinot Noir from California is smooth, rich and haunting, just like the ghosts who visit Ebenezer.
Ghost Pines Pinot Noir 2018
California, United States
I’d also recommend Toro Malbec from Argentina for $9.95 to make even Scrooge happy. You can pair this wine with a charcuterie board of different meats.
Toro Winery Centenario Malbec
Both of these wines will also pair well with The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.
Let’s take a look at your next movie suggestion, Elf.
Which wines would you pair with this one?
This film never gets old, and I love that both adults and kids find it funny. For Buddy’s bubbly personality, I’d definitely go with a sparkling wine, like this Trius Rose Brut from Niagara. Drop a raspberry into your glass for even more festive look. This wine would be perfect with potato chips.
Trius Brut Rosé Sparkling
Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada
Buddy loves syrup on just about anything, including spaghetti. So which wine pairs well with syrup and spaghetti? Nothing. Don’t do that. However, this rich, buttery Calmel Chardonnay from France would pair well with this movie as well as hot-buttered popcorn.
Calmel & Joseph Villa Blanche Chardonnay
IGP Pays d’Oc, Languedoc-Roussillon, France
Both of these wines will also pair well with Miracle on 34th Street.
Next up we have Home Alone.
The McCallister family goes to Paris for their Christmas holiday, but accidentally leave behind 8-year-old Kevin, played by Macaulay Culkin. For that tenuous connection, I’m recommending this robust red wine from Strewn in Niagara that’s been aged in French oak barrels.
Strewn Winery Limited Home Farm Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
Niagara, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada
I’d also recommend this a fresh white wine from Greece, where the McCallisers should have gone for vacation if they wanted warmer weather.
Mega Spileo Cuvée III White 2019
Achaia, Peloponnese, P.G.I., Greece
Both of these wines would also pair well with A Christmas Story, with another child actor in the lead, Peter Billingsley.
Your fourth pick is the 1988 movie Die Hard.
So this isn’t exactly a feel-good movie, but we all need a break from the syrupy sentimental cheese fest films. This movie does take place on Christmas Eve and it requires a strong, full-bodied red wine like this Amarone from Italy that would also pair with Doritos chips.
Masi Costasera Amarone Classico 2015
Another wine that John McClane, played by Bruce Willis, would enjoy at his wife’s office party if only the bad guys didn’t take them all hostage is this Cabernet.
Cusumano Terre Siciliane Nero d’Avola 2019
Both wines would pair well with Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.
A Miracle on Christmas Lake
Finally, we’re wrapping up with A Miracle on Christmas Lake.
We’re back to all the good feels to finish. In honour of the frozen lake at the heart of this movie, a natural pairing would be this Icewine from Reif in Niagara. It’s a wine that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy all over.
Reif Estate Winery Vidal Icewine 2017
Niagara River, Ontario V.Q.A.
The main character Bobby, plays hockey on the lake so of course we’re also going to pair with movie with Wayne Gretzky’s Ice Cask Whisky, aged in barrels formerly used for Icewine, as well as his Salted Caramel Liqueur which will melt even the Grinchy-est heart.
Wayne Gretzky Estates Ice Cask Whisky
Wayne Gretzky Estates Salted Caramel Cream
These drinks also pair well with It’s a Wonderful Life with Carey Grant, especially if you need something stronger to pair with all the residual sugar on the screen.