Movie & Wine Pairing


Joseph Castan ‘Excellence’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Pays d’OC IGP, France

Harold and Maude (1971)
Wednesday, June 21 @ 08:00 PM (ET)

This smooth and well-structured Cabernet comes from a generations-old family winery, so pair it with a film that curiously transcends generations, Hal Ashby’s cult classic Harold and Maude. Bud Cort stars in the story of a morose young man who falls in love with a much older woman played by Ruth Gordon, but it’s the film’s playful tone (and Cat Stevens soundtrack) that has made it such a cultural landmark for audiences.


Our intrepid expert, Beth Willard, unearthed this special ‘Excellence’ cuvée at the century-old Castan estate in France’s sunny Languedoc region. It’s named in honor of family patriarch, Joseph Castan, an influential winemaker in his time and winner of the coveted Grand Diplôme d’Honneur at the 1927 International Exhibition in Montpellier (as shown on the label). Today, fourth-generation Vianney Castan continues that legacy, and his rich, barrel-aged Cabernet is a fitting tribute. Boasting a gold medal from top wine guide Gilbert & Gaillard, it ripples with dark fruit and toasty spice, plus the Languedoc’s classic wild herb notes.


Cabernet Sauvignon is a big star in Bordeaux, but it’s an unusual grape in the Languedoc, eclipsed in popularity by juicy, red-fruited Grenache. In the right (and skilled) hands, however, Languedoc Cab can have a lovely measure of firmness, plus intriguing herb and cassis flavors. And since Beth is friends with all the best growers, you enjoy serious quality – at a friendly price.


“The Languedoc continues to produce a bevy of brilliant wines, most of which go unnoticed by the U.S. consumer,” writes The Wine Advocate. Conditions here are extreme, with intense sun and wind ravaging the ancient, low-yielding vines. But those vines produce seriously concentrated flavors, and the brushy garrigue topography imparts hints of rosemary, thyme and lavender.


Thanks to the Languedoc’s superb 2015 vintage, this special Cabernet is full of ripe fruit character. We recommend pairing it with equally flavorful foods, like hearty beef dishes. Go for a juicy burger, savory beef roast or classic boeuf bourguignon. In cooler months, it’ll make a great match for vegetable stews or traditional cassoulet (slow-cooked pork-and-bean casserole)

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