Movie & Wine Pairing


Robert Mitchum Pinot Noir 2016

Out of the Past (1947)
WEDNESDAY, MAY 8 @ 05:45 PM (ET)

Like a great California Pinot, Robert Mitchum’s presence onscreen is defined by a cool, calm exterior that conceals hidden depths of emotion, making him one of the most intriguing actors of his era. A paragon of the worldly-wise noir hero, his lead character in Out of the Past gets dragged back into a world of crime he thought he had left behind, populated by Kirk Douglas and the indelible Jane Greer as one of the screen’s great femmes fatale. Like Out of the Past, Pinot Noir is a mysterious and elusive grape, unveiling new complexities at every turn.


Robert Mitchum shot to prominence as an iconic anti-hero of 1940s film noir. Of course, every anti-hero needs his femme fatale, and this top-vintage California Pinot Noir fills the role perfectly. Hailing from prime-sited vineyards in Lodi (Wine Enthusiast’s 2015 Region of the Year) and Clarksburg, it delivers hauntingly complex aromas, irresistible red-berry flavors, and a seductively silky texture. Sure to impress on the dinner table, this makes a killer partner for meaty fish, roasted turkey, and more.


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_clsupCalifornia is on a real hot streak, and 2016 was no exception. Top critic Robert Parker reports that the Golden State has had “unprecedented and historic succession of great years, such as 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015. It now appears 2016 will end up equally impressive. Talk about an ‘embarrassment of riches.’ ... Nearly every vigneron and vintner I talked to was thrilled with what 2016 has produced.”


fish_salmonforredsWith its ripe, red-berry flavors and velvety texture, Pinot Noir makes a lovely aperitif. Enjoy a glass on its own, or alongside a plate of simple crackers and creamy goat cheese. At meal time, your pairing options are wide open (Pinot Noir is famously food-friendly). Our top choice is plankgrilled salmon, but roasted turkey or even herbcrusted pork tenderloin will be tasty too.

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