“Life” & Wines of Patagonia on This Week’s Podcast

On this week’s “Wine and Film, A Perfect Pairing” Podcast on reVolver Podcasts, Gary and I toast the new sci-fi feature, “Life,” with wines from an emerging region of the world. We know about wines from Mendoza, Argentina, (one of my favorite places on earth) but what about those from the southernmost region in the country. We explore the region, that is much more magical than “Life” in space, on this week’s show. More about both below. To listen to the show, click here and “Episode 40.” And, be sure to subscribe through iTunes, Spotify, IHeartRadio or Google Play. Cheers!

The Film: “Life”

There is something watchable and dependable about the first half of, “Life,” an all too familiar scenario that resembles a murder mystery or a board game more than it does Ridley Scott’s thrilling sci-fi, “Alien.”

Jake Gyllenhall, Rebecca Ferguson, and Ryan Reynolds lead an expedition to Mars to bring back samples, and wouldn’t you know it, out of the red dust grows a living, breathing creature that resembles a Manta Ray with a Python head covered in gack. A quick crawling, relentless bad guy named, “Calvin,” that quickly starts knocking off crew members one by one. At one point I mumbled to myself, “Calvin with a vice grip in the laboratory.”

Yes, the creature is creepy, yes the effects are good, even the claustrophobic performances are fine, and then, like all average and predictable premises, the dialogue goes south and “Life” takes on a “dumbed-down” life of it’s own. Smart people narrating every dumb move before they start doing dumb things. It’s annoying and don’t get me started on the ending to “Life” which could go one of two ways. I felt conned by cinema.

Swedish director, Daniel Espinosa, (Safe House, Easy Money) has created a good looking mainstream thriller that will mildly please first time movie goers but not seasoned fans of quality sci-fi.  It’s a decent attempt but you can’t cover up the babbling narrative provided by writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick.

When “Life” arrives on demand, I’ll watch the first half again, then wander off to a good bottle of wine when the characters start telling me what they are about to do.

“Gary with a bottle of wine in the dining room.”

 

Sunset over the Andes Mountains in Argentina

The Wines: Wines from Patagonia

We know about wines from Mendoza and Salta, but the southernmost region in Argentina has quietly emerged as one of the most interesting places in South America.

Thanks to very hot summer days, and very cool summer nights, thanks to cooling winds coming off the Andes, the region experiences one of the longest growing seasons in the world. Allowing vines an extended period of time to ripen, with slow maturation, ensures an even distribution of flavor, creating juicy fruit forward characteristics with freshness and acidity on the palate.

These characteristics equate to an elegant flavor profile for Patagonia wines with aromatic intensity, purity of terroir. And, are just a few of the reasons why Patagonia is one of the most exciting places for wine today.

Leading producers include Bodega Del Fin del Mundo (under the direction of Michel Rolland), and Malma, overseen by Roberta de la Mota, son of the winemaking pioneer who first saw Malbec as the country’s signature grape. Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc are the main varieties.

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