“Snowden” Conspires with Wine from Amy Aiken

Our second film featured on this week’s “Wine and Film, A Perfect Pairing” Podcast, on reVolver Podcasts, was “Snowden,” Director Oliver Stone’s take on Edward Snowden. And, if ever I have found the ideal pairing, it is toay as we pair it perfectly with Napa Valley winemaker Amy Aiken’s Sauvignon Blanc, Conspire.

To listen to the show, just click here and listen to “Episode 13,” which also includes our take on the new film “Bridget Jone’s Baby” is funny, charming and endearing, pairing it with a Rose of Pinot Noir from Inman Family Wines, Endless Crush.


The Film: “Snowden”

“Snowden” is a talky, fascinating film that spends as much time swirling around the mind-set of the man who stole and revealed NSA secrets as it does exploring the relationship between the self proclaimed whistle blower and his longtime girlfriend.

Joseph Gorden Levitt gives one of his best performances as Edward Snowden playing him both in speech patterns and mannerisms. It’s an uncanny impersonation because Levitt is a deep thinking actor playing a deep thinking individual. Shailene Woodley is also terrific as his patient, fun loving girlfriend in a movie that questions authority and paints Snowden as a patriot.

Writer, director Oliver Stone has made of a film of surprising restraint by asking more questions than providing answers, and I found the film helpful in my own attempt to wrap my head around such complicated issues of privacy vs. security, even patriotism and freedom. I like to be challenged in my thinking and good, smart, films usually help me in seeking a clearer picture.

As the film, “Snowden” opens in local theaters, the real Edward Snowden and his girlfriend find themselves living in Russia, unable to return to America without federal prosecution. At one point in Oliver Stone’s film the real Snowden shows up and it’s a bit creepy to watch. Another complication in a complicated story that has a long road yet to travel.

conspireThe Wine: Conspire Sauvignon Blanc

To pair with this mischievous film, a wine that is much more refreshing that the subject of the film, from one of my favorite winemakers, Amy Aiken with her Conspire Sauvignon Blanc.

I suppose it depends on which side you sit on with Snowden, but if you think he broke the law, Amy’s wine is spot on as the dictionary defines “conspire” as to “make secret plans jointly to commit an unlawful or harmful act.”

Luckily, unlike Snowden, Amy’s secret act is just producing incredible wine (her Bordeaux style Meander Napa Valley Red Wine is another representation of her keen hand at quality wine making.)

As Amy says, she “conspires” with boutique growers to create terroir-driven wine that capture a snapshot of time and place. The wine is filled with white flower, crisp minerality and acidity and vibrant texture. Flavors of truffle, soft herbs and classic citrus fruit with concentration, balance and elegance. Both wines are made in very small production from vineyards throughout Napa, but with a focus on dusty, earthy Rutherford fruit, which I also love. She just this week released the 2013 Meander Red from one of the best vintages in Napa Valley’s history.

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