Movie & Wine Pairing

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Villa dei Ladri 2013
Langhe DOC, Italy

The Happy Thieves (1961)
Saturday, November 12 @ 10:00 PM (ET)

Pair this intriguing Nebbiolo, named for bandits roaming the Italian countryside, with one of George Marshall’s later films. Instead of the hills of Piedmont, you’ll find yourself on the plateau of Madrid, where comedy, romance and drama will paint a vivid picture. As art thieves Jim Bourne (Rex Harrison) and Eve Lewis (Rita Hayworth) navigate a tricky plot involving high-stakes heists, blackmail, counterfeiting and even murder, you can savor the layers of spicy complexity in your glass.

THE WINE

Home to Barolo and Barbaresco, Piedmont’s Langhe hills make some of Italy’s most celebrated, age-worthy and pricey wines. If you know where to look (and who to see) you’ll also find a host of delicious values that don’t require decades of cellaring (or a second mortgage) to enjoy. Wines like Villa dei Ladri – a clever blend of 80% Nebbiolo and 20% Barbera, aged 12 months in large oak casks and brought to you by Barolo ace Claudio Manera.

THE GRAPE

Nebbiolo represents just 3% of plantings in Piedmont and produces the region’s most sought-after reds, from the twin towns of Barolo and Barbaresco. Notoriously tricky to grow, it’s often likened to Pinot Noir and can produce reds of similar aromatic complexity. Rose petals, tar and licorice are all notes to look for. Barbera has long played second fiddle to Nebbiolo, and is only just starting to gain the respect it deserves. It’s often billed as the grape Barolo makers drink at home – and it brings a lovely, redfruit vibrancy to this classic Langhe Rosso.

THE REGION

Villa dei Ladri translates as ‘House of Thieves’ and pays homage to a medieval band of Italian Robin Hoods who stalked the hills of the Langhe – and had a knack of disappearing into the nebbia (the local fog that’s thought to give the Nebbiolo grape its ame). Don’t be surprised if guests steal a second glass while you’re not looking. And don’t judge them too harshly if they do!

WITH FOOD

Claudio suggests serving Villa dei Ladri with local speciality stinco di vitello (braised veal), though it’ll also taste great with roast game meats like venison tenderloin, creamy risottos or aged cheeses like Parmesan. Try chilling it, too (half an hour in the fridge should do) to bring out the wine’s vibrant fruit character and add a refreshing edge. Enjoy!

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