Movie & Wine Pairing


Noir Alley Pinot Noir 2015

Out of the Past (1947)

There’s no better entry point into TCM’s celebration of Film Noir than Jacques Tourneur’s Out of the Past. It’s the perfect combination of major star (Robert Mitchum) getting in over his head opposite a smoldering femme fatale (Jane Greer) and a steely antagonist (Kirk Douglas). Beautifully shot, this compelling film provides as many thrills as a delicious glass of California Pinot Noir.


Just as TCM’s Noir Alley showcases the best of Film Noir, this distinctive Pinot Noir showcases this eclectic and muchloved grape. While often ripe and light-bodied in its homeland of France, Pinot Noir has a richer, more sultry character on location in California. Noir Alley’s silky example hails from prime-sited Central Coast vineyards and the stellar 2015 vintage. Look forward to juicy, red-berry flavors, plus hints of earthy spice. With its darker color and velvety texture, it’s irresistible on its own or with meaty fish.


Nicknamed “The Heartbreak Grape,” Pinot Noir is infamously difficult to grow. The same thin skin that’s responsible for giving the wines their trademark, pale color also renders the grape susceptible to vineyard maladies and damage from harsh weather. Pinot ripens early and thrives in cool climates – while its spiritual homeland is the Côte d’Or in France’s Burgundy, it has found a delicious new character in cooler corners of New Zealand, Oregon and California, all of which produce world-class Pinot.


GI_grapes_pinotnoir_clsup2015 is the fourth in a string of super California harvests, and its “low yields have resulted in exceptional concentration and intensity,” writes Decanter. Now is the time to collect these great-vintage finds; our California expert and her winemaking friends tell us that top-value, top-quality Pinot from 2016 will be even more difficult to come by – good thing you’ve got friends in the right places!


fish_Salmon_purplemashThis lush, Film Noir-inspired Pinot deserves an equally tempting food pairing. Puréed purple potatoes with rosemary-citrus salmon and asparagus will certainly fit the bill. You could also try other meaty fish (we love tuna steaks), roasted turkey or even grilled chicken. Vegetarian? A plate of garlic roasted, multi-colored heirloom carrots over warm freekeh will be a tasty match.

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