On part two of our “Wine and Film, A Perfect Pairing” Podcast this week on reVolver Podcasts, Gary discusses what might be an Oscar worthy performance by Natalie Portman in “Jackie,” and we pair her with the queen of Italian red wines, Barbaresco (a great wine for the holidays as well.)
Additional notes on each are below. To listen to the show, click here and listen to Episode 26. Or, subscribe through iTunes, Google, Spotify or IHeartRadio. Cheers!
The Film: “Jackie“
“Jackie” is a part-time brilliant film featuring an Oscar level performance by Natalie Portman as the sad and grieving wife of President John F. Kennedy following his assassination in Dallas on November 22, 1963.
You can make the point that Jackie Kennedy was the most loved and admired First Lady in history and to watch her in such anguish and anger almost feels like watching a horror film, and rightfully so. She rushes in the frantic motorcade to Parkland hospital trying to keep her husbands brains inside his skull.
“Jackie,” was filmed in and around Paris, France which will startle most American film goers because the freeways in the Eiffel Tower city bear no resemblance to Stemmons freeway in the southwest emerald city of Dallas, Texas.
Chilean activist director, Pablo Larrain, and his film feels more European in style than slick Hollywood, adding to the mystery of a first lady who conducted an awkward yet popular “live” television white house Christmas tour and eventually ended up walking down Pennsylvania Avenue behind her husbands horse drawn casket.
I admire “Jackie,” as a film and a performance of intimacy that feels far out of the mainstream. It’s a bold work that demands you give this lady a break. We all felt we knew her in 1963 and we didn’t. We all assumed we felt her pain during the funeral but we didn’t. Only those closest to her really know what she went through and this difficult, gut wrenching film is an admirable attempt to get us close.
The Wine: Barabraesco
For this Queen of America’s Camelot, “Jackie” we pair a wine that may look one way on the outside, yet can reveal layers and layers of nuances once you start to peel the layers away with time and technique. As beautifully displayed by Portman, Jackie Kennedy was very aware of how she looked to everyone outside, and worked very hard to ensure that image was maintained, even in the most difficult moments of her life. Though wine is wine, and doesn’t have to take on the world in quite the same way, there are wines that you may taste and think you now everything that you are getting.
However, over time, either while aging in the bottle or when the bottle is opened and air can soften a bit, the wine will change revealing characteristics you would have never initially realized. Barbaresco is known as the queen of Italian wine. The softer, more refined sibling to Barolo, and made from the same Nebbiolo variety, Barbaresco is poised, elegant and even.
Where the King Barolo may want to be showy and flashy, with dried roses, sour cherry, floral and balsamic notes, Barbaresco finesses the Nebbiolo, for a softer more approachable wine, especially early on. The inherently high acid and tannin wine is slightly juicier and fresher from Barbaresco thanks to a more nutrient rich soil, creating softer tannins in the hearty red, while maintaing structure and character. A fantastic example is Marchesi di Gresy Martinega Barbaresco DOCG, and of course, I always love the Ricossa wines including their approachable Barbaresco DOCG.