Austere Wines For a Rigid “Miss Sloane” on This Week’s Podcast

This week’s “Wine and Film, A Perfect Pairing” Podcast on reVolver Podcasts is a busy one! We start with Gary’s take on the new Jessica Chastain film, “Miss Sloane,” pairing appropriately with very hard, focused, rigid and intense wines, known often as “austere wines” in the world of wine-speak. And, we follow up with “Office Christmas Party,” that I am actually sad to say I missed, and Gary probably wishes he did.

Lastly, just back from Uruguay traveling as a guest of winery Bodega Garzon, I give a little bit of a recap on one of the most memory making trips I have done. 

Certainly, dinner on a mountaintop with famed Chef, Francis Mallmann, was one for the books!

Listen to the show by following the link here, and click “Episode 25.” Or subscribe on iTunes, Spotify, IHeartRadio or Google Play Music.

And, a few more holiday wine suggestions are linked to here

More details on Uruguay and the wines of Bodega Garzón will be up shortly as well.  For now, there are some incredible photos on my instagram @dallasuncorked.


The Film: “Miss Sloane”

There is something compelling about the no-nonsense, “Miss Sloane,” starring Jessica Chastain as the intensely focused Washington lobbyist who spends the first few minutes courting a gun rights enthusiast and the rest of the film fighting him.

The ad campaign wants you to believe this is an Oscar level performance in an Oscar level film and and only half of that notion is true. Jessica Chastain is one of the best actresses on the planet giving a wonderful, steely eyed, cold hearted, performance in good film that is never great.

Director John Madden (Shakespeare In Love) has created a fast paced political thriller that is heavy on dialogue descriptors and less on logic. It’s complicated inner workings of the “win at all costs”  Washington types seems worthy on the surface but the screenplay, by Jonathan Perera, rests comfortably in mediocrity. This movie could use a good dose of Aaron Sorkin and a lot of “Michael Clayton.”

Despite it’s flaws, “Miss Sloane,” is watchable and at times verbally fun to watch and hear, providing a not so glamorous look at the odd politics of the lobby industry. But, when all is said and done, the film sits in the middle.

Rather than leave the theater enlightened and invigorated, I left the theater underwhelmed.


The Wines: Austere

By definition, an “austere wine” is hard, rather dry wine that lacks richness and generosity of fruit and flavor. They are usually high in acid, and/or tannin, and haven’t softened to allow this intensity to round out, or allowed the fruit to fully express itself.

An example is a bold, high tannin wine that is best bottled aged for years, that is instead opened upon release, with sharp tannins and high acid that almost feels like an astringency in your mouth.

Young, oak aged Bordeaux is a great example, especially in cold vintage years, as the expression of the fruit will be less than warm vintages, and the fruit and oak tannins are still very present in the wines. The wines may be good, but they won’t be great.

Gary and I prefer some age on our wines in general, as time just helps everything meld and marry together. We do this with both white and red wines, specifically Old World wines, like Bordeaux, Burgundy, Barolo and Ribera del Duero or Toro wines.

If you just can’t wait to open that special bottle you just bought, be sure to decant it and let it breathe, a Toro wine like Termanthia from Numanthia, or a great Giuseppe Rinaldi or Cappellano from Barolo, can easily be opened 4 or 5 hours before a dinner party as the air will help the wine open and fruit to express itself.

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