by Sarah Shotwell
Spunky, patriotic, fun, and mysterious, Jean Arthur is TCM’s star of the day today! In Mr. Smith goes to Washington, she is the wry, wise sidekick who is more than your typical 1940s secretary: in the film, she becomes Smith’s (Jimmy Stewart’s) mentor, guiding him through the hairy-scary waters of D.C. corruption, challenging him to be better, and pushing him to be the hero she knows he is. She’s beautiful, but her good humor, brains, and funny bone are what have won over the American people again and again, and the reason Capra held her up as his leading lady of choice.
Despite how she appears on screen, however, Ms. Arthur was famously shy and humble, and relied on the confidence of her favorite director to help draw out her true charisma. To pair with Jean Arthur, we look for a wine that is more than meets the eye! A bold GSM might be just the ticket: Grenache for shy softness, Syrah for spice and sass, and Mourvèdre for rich structure and depth. Elegant, but approachable and fun, Rhône blends, like Jean Arthur, can melt the hearts of even the most stodgy crowd!