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Two Women on Wine: Perfect wines to match the Best Picture contenders

Lil Lepore and Shari Frazier

Posted: February 18, 2011 3:05 p.m.
Updated: February 18, 2011 3:05 p.m.
Lil Lepore and Shari Frazier Lil Lepore and Shari Frazier
Lil Lepore and Shari Frazier

One of the things we love to do is host wine-themed parties. It's always a fun event, whether it is a '70s party, complete with disco music, big hair and big wines, or a "Taste of Tuscany" party where we prepare authentic dishes to accompany an array of Tuscan wines. So it comes as no surprise that with the Academy Awards quickly approaching, we plan to host an "Oscar Party".

The Academy Awards will be presented on Sunday, Feb. 27 and Hollywood is all abuzz over the long list of nominees for Best Picture. So are we. Before the festivities begin, we've put together a short list of fun wines to serve that will make our evening more entertaining as we watch and critique the awards show (and there will be lots of critiquing going on!).
If you are also thinking about hosting an Oscar party, here's our list of some of our favorite Oscar contenders and the wines we'll be serving.

"The Fighter": A true story of an up and coming boxer who must choose between members of his dysfunctional family over his quest to triumph in the ring. The wine we've chosen for this film is Heavyweight Red from Lodi, a big, bold, luscious blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Zinfandel. Its profile features rich blackberry and black currant flavors with a finish that doesn't quit. This wine definitely can go more than a few rounds and will knock your socks off!

"The King's Speech": A stuttering future King forges a deep bond with his speech therapist, who helps him find his voice and become a notable wartime monarch. The British are not only very fond of their monarchs but also quite fond of their sweet wines. We've chosen the Abbazia Malvasia Rosé, a sparkling rosé, for this film because of its regal rose color and sweet, aromatic, supple fruit flavors. This wine was originally produced for the ruling class of Europe centuries ago. It is a fabulous wine for a wonderful movie.

"The Social Network": This is a fascinating story about a nerdy Harvard undergraduate student that saw unlimited possibilities using the technology of the Internet to connect with friends. He called it Facebook and forever changed the face of social interaction. Educated Guess, a Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa, is our choice for this film. This bold wine is rich and ripe with juicy blackberry and cherry fruit flavors with hints of cocoa and mint, all tied together with a creamy vanilla finish. Once you try this wine, we encourage you to "Facebook it" to share your thoughts with friends.

"True Grit": A remake of the iconic John Wayne Western by the same name, it's a tale about a tenacious 14-year-old girl on the 19th century frontier who wants to avenge her daddy's murder. The heroine seeks help from a weathered, eye-patched, ornery U.S. Marshall and a clowning Texas Ranger. There's perhaps no better wine for this movie than Purple Cowboy Tenacious Red, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, straight from our own cowboy country in Paso Robles. You're sure to find lots of lush, ripe, crushed berries and cherries with notes of cola and cinnamon and a dusting of cocoa powder in its profile.

In planning a party, you might ask, "How much wine do I need?" A good rule of thumb is that each 750 ml bottle of wine will yield five, five ounce servings. Expect that over a three hour period, each guest may enjoy at least two to three glasses of wine. This will give you a good idea of how much wine you will need for the evening, based on the number of guests expected.

For our guests we also like to serve a variety of small plates: mini crab cakes, sliders, stuffed mushrooms, bruschetta and buffalo wings are just a few suggestions. And, of course, the wines we've selected will pair nicely with these dishes.
Whatever you choose to serve and pour, it's always wonderful to get together with friends and family, whether it be for an Oscar party or just because. Cheers!


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