The Lion in Winter (1968)

New season, new series!  With the approach of fall, we have to conclude our look at summer sequels, although those were quite a bit of fun.  It was great to revisit some of those old favorites, including Batman Returns and TMNT II.

For the next four weeks, we’re going to spend an episode spotlighting each host of Cinemavino.  Each of us will pick a movie and wine (or beer) that suits who we are, and will allow you to put a face and personality to the voice you hear.  As I’m the main host and creator of Cinemavino, we’ll start with me.  (Todd)

I chose The Lion in Winter for my film, as it’s an all-time favorite.  A bold, thundering period drama, Lion imagines a fictitious Christmas spent by some very real people:  Henry II (Peter O’Toole) and Eleanor of Aquitaine (Katherine Hepburn) assemble their family to announce who will succeed him as King of England.  I have a list of around 25 perfect movies, and this is one of them.  Hepburn won her third Oscar for this performance, and O’Toole should have.  Both represent some of the best acting you’ll see in any movie anywhere.

Our vino was actually an easy pair.  Lion in Winter takes place at Chinon, France–the home of Cabernet Franc.  Cab Franc is most commonly blended with other grapes, especially in Bordeaux, but in this region it gets to shine on its own.  This offering from Domaine de La Chanteleuserie is typical of the style:  It has velvety textures, bright fruit, and soft edges.  Unlike Cabernet Sauvignons, which can be big, bold, and worthy of aging, Cab Francs tend to be more fun and ready to drink immediately.  This particular bottle runs in the $15-20 range, and it’s perfect with everything from steak to lamb.

As a bonus, we tried the Pére Magloire, a very smooth brandy.  King Henry’s actual Christmas gathering took place at Caen, off the Normandy coast.  That’s the home of Calvados, a very fine brandy made from apples. If you’re looking for a richly flavored brandy–yes, you can taste those apples–to enjoy with a cigar on a crisp fall evening, give this one try!  It will probably retail in the $40-50 range.

Enjoy another fine episode of Cinemavino! 

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