Movie & Wine Pairing


Pagos de Tahola Reserva 2008
Rioja DOCa, Spain

Black Narcissus (1947)
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 14 @ 10:00 PM (ET)

The ingenuity of the family behind this Spanish release finds its match in the cinematic innovations of British filmmaking team Powell and Pressburger. Their landmark film Black Narcissus is one of the most sumptuously designed and photographed productions in film history, with emotions to match. A glass of this velvety smooth Tempranillo blend will prove as seductive as the mystical Himalayan settings that entrance the film’s heroines.


Get ready for this sumptuous, barrel-aged Reserva from the acclaimed Chavarri family, who have been producing firstclass Rioja since 1882. Speaking of first-class, 2008 was declared an officially ‘very good’ vintage by Rioja's governing body – so we’re really excited for you to try it. Ruth Chavarri (below, among her prized vines) has made the most of this great year, using old-vine, high-altitude Tempranillo, then aging the wine in premium French oak. Terrific with roasted pork dishes.


Tempranillo makes some of Spain'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 – traditionally in American oak (for a vanilla-rich complexity), though some winemakers prefer the more subtle spice of French barrels. Either way – the longer the aging, the more mellow the wine … and Pagos de Tahola spent over a year resting in French and American oak.


Rioja has been producing wine since Roman times, but barrel aging was only introduced in 1786 by Don Manuel Quintano. He had just returned from studying in Bordeaux, and knew the delicious qualities oak maturation imparted to top-quality wine. But, thanks to dubious local winemakers and complex legal matters, it took almost another 100 years for the trend to really take hold.


Pagos de Tahola is a great pairing with simple roast chicken or lamb – season with salt and pepper, smoked paprika and fresh garlic. Or, enjoy it Spanish style, with traditional paella (saffron rice with shrimp, mussels, chicken and spicy chorizo sausage). Also try with tapas – we suggest garlic shrimp, Manchego cheese, olives and cured jamón serrano.

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