Movie & Wine Pairing


Alfred Hitchcock Master of Suspense 2016
Rioja DOCa, Spain

Strangers on a Train (1951)

Hitchcock’s dark tale of two men who conspire to swap murders is best accompanied by a rich, spicy red like this intensely flavored Rioja. In an onscreen pairing for the ages, Robert Walker’s psychopath embroils Farley Granger’s young tennis star in a deadly conspiracy. Pour a glass or two and see how their story ends.


Legendary director Alfred Hitchcock mastered the art of suspense, and we could think of no better wine to honor his legacy than distinctive, complex Rioja. This limited release hails from the Manzanos family, who have been an institution in Spain’s premium Rioja region since 1890. Fifth-generation Victor and David Manzanos asked their head winemaker, Borja Ripa (below, with David), to seek out the finest parcels of Tempranillo from their estate vineyards. Borja hand-selected the grapes, then aged a portion of the wine in oak barrels. As you’ll soon taste, the vibrant strawberry and vanilla spice flavors won’t leave you in suspense.


Tempranillo makes some of Spain’s (and the world’s) greatest reds. From the word temprano (‘early’), it ripens before most other red grapes, especially in warm, sunny climates. Dark and thick-skinned, it’s made to be barrel aged – typically in American oak (for a vanilla-rich complexity), though some winemakers prefer more subtly spicy French barrels.


WM_DavidManzanos_BorjaRipaRioja is home to Spain’s greatest reds and (according to most experts) the world’s best Tempranillo. Vines were first planted here in Roman times, near the Sierra Cantabria mountains and at the confluence of the Rivers Ebro and Oja. As the world’s best-selling wine writer, Hugh Johnson, notes: “Few great wine regions span so many different terrains and unite them with such recognizable character.”


lamb_rack_isolBorja calls this fine Rioja “a true taste of our best vineyards, worthy of the Manzanos dynasty.” It’s also worthy of a special meal (though we won’t blame you for uncorking it on a typical Tuesday night). We recommend serving it alongside roasted lamb or garlicky lamb chops. It’ll also be tasty with robust vegetarian cuisine or a plate of charcuterie and firm cheeses.

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