Cool autumn nights are the perfect time to grab a projector, hook up your Hulu, pile on the blankets and bring movie night to your backyard! Three of our favorite wine lovers weigh in on their outdoor movie and wine pairing picks, from a Napa Valley Cabernet that pairs marvelously with swashbuckling to the sweetest accompaniment to a comedy classic. If there was ever a year for making the most of the great outdoors - and getting creative with your outdoor wine nights – 2020 is it!
Outdoor Movie & Wine Pairings: Expert Autumn Picks
Far Niente Winemaker Nicole Marchesi
The Princess Bride + Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley (minus the Iocane powder 😉)
Red wine and swashbuckling just seem to go together. I might even serve it in some old-style pewter goblets while we passed around a tray of the Smitten Kitchen’s scallion and turkey meatballs. Far Niente Napa Valley Cabernet possesses layers of savory notes that pair really well with the appetizer’s salty-sweet soy and ginger glaze. Bonus: The meatball toothpicks can be wielded when quoting, “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”
Customer Service Manager Tim Setzer
Hairspray + Bella Union Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley
Set in 1962 Baltimore, Hairspray has a timeless message of love, positive change and acceptance of people who are different. Not to mention songs that make you want to have a dance party on your front lawn! No one can sit still for “You Can’t Stop the Beat!”
For a movie snack, I would serve (Maryland) Crab Rangoon, a popular Polynesian-style pupu, or appetizer, from the era. An updated version using half cream cheese and half Chèvre would pair beautifully with our favorite autumn white wine, Bella Union Sauvignon Blanc with its crisp minerality and hint of the tropics.
I can’t wait to try these crispy puffs of paradise with our new Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc and a great movie!
Private Client Services (and Hosted at Home Host Extraordinaire) Todd Elliott
When I think outdoor movie night, I skip the popcorn and head straight to dessert. And when it comes to the best dessert for the great outdoors, I think s’mores! To give this childhood classic an adult twist, I like to start with regular graham crackers, then layer on Ghirardelli dark chocolate squares filled with salted caramel! The dark chocolate adds complexity, the graham crackers add crunch, and a full glass of Martin Stelling Vineyard Cabernet adds boldness and balance.
In fact, it’s Martin Stelling Vineyard Cabernet’s dusky, dark fruit and earthiness that inspired my different take on s’mores. There’s nothing I like more than a powerful, complex Oakville, Napa Valley Cabernet, except maybe great Oakville Cabernet that is bold enough to hold up to the flavors in the dessert, but with a silkiness and finesse that doesn’t overwhelm the pairing. Chocolate and Cabernet pairings can be challenging, but they’re so good when you get it right.
My go-to outdoor movie is the comedy classic Airplane! We all need a little laughter and some light hearted humor in our lives right now. Whether you’ve seen it a dozen times or it’s your very first viewing, it never fails to amuse. Maybe it’s time to turn a new generation onto the Zucker brothers!
Of course, the best wine and movie nights involve opening and enjoying the wines YOU love with movies that fit the occasion, mood or audience. Sophisticated Napa Valley Chardonnay with Audrey Hepburn classics. Silky Merlot alongside a suspenseful murder mystery. Stylish Pinot Noir and your favorite girls' night rom-com. While the wine pairing options are limitless, outdoor movie-friendly autumn nights aren't. Get prepped and stock up now. Because, winter is coming ...
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