Movie & Wine Pairing


Bees Knees Shiraz Viognier 2015
Stellenbosch WO, South Africa

I Walked with a Zombie (1943)
WEDNESDAY, MAY 17 @ 11:30 PM (ET)

Producer Val Lewton’s films from the 1940s don’t fit easily into one category, but they are all of consistent high quality and enduring appeal – much like this South African Shiraz-Viognier blend. Pour a glass and enjoy the macabre and highly enjoyable story of a nurse who discovers the disturbing cause of her patient’s mental paralysis on a remote Caribbean island, the perfect blend of film genres.


Travel to the heart of South Africa’s gorgeous Stellenbosch region, and at the end of your trek (a 21-hour flight from the U.S.), you’ll find the Gabb family’s aptly named estate, Journey’s End. “With quality remarkably high and consistent I was particularly struck by Journey’s End … Winemaker Leon Esterhuizen clearly does a fine job,” writes Jancis Robinson, MW. Their new release marries Shiraz (South Africa’s flagship red) with a splash of aromatic Viognier (5%), all grown during the stellar 2015 vintage. With ripe red fruit and lovely floral notes, it’s truly the bees knees!


Founded in 1996, Journey’s End is the type of small, quality-driven operation that’s putting South Africa on the fine wine map – with the acclaim from top shows like the International Wine Challenge and the Decanter World Wine Awards to prove it. Winemaker Leon Esterhuizen, whose experience includes harvests at Napa Valley’s Chappelle Estate and Spain’s Bodegas Castaño, has been working his magic in the cellar since 2005.


Often called South Africa’s answer to Napa Valley, “Stellenbosch consistently produces the greatest number of the Cape’s finest wines” (Tim Atkin, MW). The region has been home to winemaking since the 17th century, and today, its quality-focused, boutique estates are among the most awarded in the country. Fun fact: the local university is the only in South Africa to offer a degree in viticulture.


In Shiraz’s spiritual home, France’s Rhône Valley (where locals call it Syrah), they would serve this smooth, oak-aged red with game meats. We recommend braised venison or a hearty bison stew. Back in South Africa, they’d pair Bees Knees with dishes cooked at a traditional braai (barbecue) – anything from juicy burgers to saucy pork ribs to grilled vegetable kabobs.

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