Movie & Wine Pairing


Lana Turner Zinfandel 2017
Lodi, California

The Bad and the Beautiful (1952)

Director Vincente Minnelli had many strengths, and among them was pulling out great performances from his actors. His 1952 melodrama about an unscrupulous movie producer, played by Kirk Douglas, also became a dramatic showcase for popular star Lana Turner who up to this time had rarely been considered a serious actress. She shines here in a remarkable performance as – what else? – an insecure movie star.


Lana Turner epitomizes the twists and turns of the Hollywood dream. In a career that spanned half a century, it was her stunning performance in MGM’s 1946 The Postman Always Rings Twice that confirmed her status as the archetypal femme fatale. Crafted in tribute to Ms. Turner, this sultry Zinfandel hails from California’s red-hot Lodi region and the stellar 2017 vintage. With its luscious, red- and black-fruit flavors and attractive spice notes, it’s every bit as smoldering as Lana herself.


According to figures from the USDA’s Statistics Service, Zinfandel is California’s third most-planted red wine grape (behind Cabernet and Merlot) – yet it’s regarded by many as the state’s signature red. Originally from Croatia (where it was called Tribidrag), this wandering variety found its way to sunny Puglia in Italy (where they call it Primitivo), then later to the Golden State as Italians came seeking their fortunes. Regardless of locale or name, this grape is famous for being fruity and food-friendly.


GI_grapes_redgrapeoldvineThough vines have always grown wild in the region, serious grape cultivation started in this area of California during the mid-1800s. By 1900, a local newspaper declared that it was the region’s “growing industry.” During Prohibition, the demand for Lodi grapes actually rose. Today, Lodi declares itself “Home of the Zin” and holds a large, well-attended annual festival celebrating all things Zinfandel.


pork_baconwrpedtndrlnThis sumptuous, fruit-forward Zinfandel will delight with a variety of dishes. We love it with bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin and other roasted meats, from rack of lamb to turkey with all the trimmings. It’ll also be delicious with simple, spicy tomato-sauced pasta or hearty stews made with or without meat. Fans of rich, flavorful reds will also enjoy sipping it all on its own.

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