Happy Easter! This week we toasted the Easter holiday, chilly ice wine and the newly released, hugely successful, mega-hit “Fate of the Furious” on our “Cogill Wine & Film, A Perfect Pairing” Podcast on reVolver Podcasts. Though an ice wine might not be the obvious choice, the small production, highly concentrated sweet wine cools off this huge film, which grossed $45+ million on opening night! More on both below. And, watch Gary’s review this week on KXAS-TV/NBC DFW here.
The second half of the show we also raise a glass to Rosé wines for Easter. A full list of the wines we talked about, and a few more, is here on Red Wine With Breakfast, along with a link to my morning news segment on KXAS-TV/NBC DFW. Gary also shared some of his favorite Easter films on the NBC DFW website, linked here.
I came to the “Fast & Furious” movie franchise late because I disliked the earlier films so much. I finally dropped my pretentiousness and embraced the fast-lane, fast-lives, nonsense and I have felt better ever since.
“Fate of The Furious,” arrives as number eight in the big budget action series and says neither rain, snow, ice, Cuba, prison, or space, can keep a good car down. Vin Diesel goes roque, Dwayne Johnson winds up in prison, and the film features more beat downs with bad guys than most ten films. And that’s the point. Beefcake, cheesecake, whatever cake you want is on full display in this film and is both anticipated and expected by the audience.
Yes, it’s impressive to watch The Rock use his mighty arms as guns fighting his way out of a maximum security prison with Jason Statham, and later in the movie it’s weird eye candy watching self driving cars over take a motorcade in Manhattan.
Charlize Theron acts her socks off as the bad guy (person, woman) in “Fate Of The Furious, because there is no time for subtlety or nuance. It’s all out and all in or nothing in these movies and that includes Helen Mirren, Kurt Russell, Michelle Rodriguez, Ludacris, Tyrese Gibson, and Scott Eastwood.
Is the dialogue often dumber than dumb? Yes, and so are some of the scenarios including a submarine chasing cars on ice sequence that makes no sense but is fun to watch. These are handsome, diverse characters directed by F. Gary Gray (Straight Outta Compton, The Italian Job, Friday) in a style that can only be called “Fast & Furious” style. They have finally created their own genre.
Like it or not, they are immensely popular and have world wide appeal. And, in case you forgot, “Furious 7” made more money than Disney’s “Frozen.”
The Wine: Ice Wine
Furious takes place predominantly in New York and an icy cold, Russian-held island in the Nordic north, so for this chilly spot we’ll toast with an ice wine, and one from upstate New York seemed appropriate.
Ice Wines, or Eisweins, are made by leaving ripe grapes on the vine until long after the usual harvest season, well into winter, when temperatures drop to -17.6 degrees Fahrenheit. This process causes the water in the grape to freeze, while the sugars do not, to make a concentrated, honey, dried fruit and overall sweet wine.
The best ice wines come out of Germany, Austria, Canada and the United States, and come from grapes like Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Sylvaner and even Cabernet Franc and Malbec. Only a few countries produce it, and those that do deal with the fact that production will always be very small, so ice wine tends to be expensive.
Finger Lakes holds an annual ice wine festival in the winter, with local producers and those from neighboring Canada participating. Inniskillin is probably the most widely distributed and well-known ice wine, but is from Canada, so from NY, a few well respected options include Hunt Country Vineyards Vidal Blanc,$49.99, which was served at the United Nations and the White House. Sweet and luscious, with fruits like apricot and tropical fruit.
Casa Larga 2016 Fiori Block 1 Ice Wine, $59.99, created from the first block of vines planted by the winery’s founder in the 1970s. Concentrated and rich, with candied orange, dried fig and a touch of spice. Just 114 bottles produced.