Aloha, and cheers to August. This week’s “Cogill Wine & Film, A Perfect Pairing” podcast on reVolver Podcasts toasts the new big budget, high action “Mission Impossible: Fallout” pairing with a wine that is sometimes an impossible mission to create, one of the finest wines in the world hailing from the country most of this film takes place in…the fabulous French sticky, Sauternes. More on both the wine and the film below. Listen to the show here or your favorite place to listen to podcasts, including on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, I Heart Radio or Google.
And, Gary and I are headed back to the mainland for an exceptional evening, toasting the beautiful wines of Amici Cellars at Salum Restaurant for our annual Dallas Uncorked Harvest Dinner. The evening, benefiting The Stewpot of Dallas, will take place August 19. We hope to see you there. Details and tickets here or via dallasuncorked.org.
The Film: “Mission Impossible: Fallout”
“Mission Impossible: Fallout” or “Run Tom Run”
Tom Cruise is constantly in motion in, “Mission Impossible: Fallout,” running across the rooftops of Paris, driving full speed in and out of traffic, recklessly skydiving, operating a speed boat, and a helicopter without a license. In fact, this is Tom Cruise’s best performance since the last “MI” film and you might call it, “The Amazing Race” meets “Jason Bourne” meets “James Bond.”
An adrenalin rush of a movie seems par for the course the summer, but this “Mission Impossible” is on such a high level technically it feels satisfying and thrilling. I smiled every time Cruise’s character said, “I got this,” because I actually believed him. He provides a comfortable, “out of control’ feeling to everything around him.
Cruise serves as both star and producer along with J.J. Abrams while surrounding himself with a familiar cast that includes Ving Rhames, Alec Baldwin, and Simon Pegg, along with Michelle Monaghan, Rebecca Ferguson, and Angela Bassett.
Writer, director Christopher McQuarrie (Jack Reacher, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation) has a hit and miss cannon of films that include, “The Usual Suspects,” and the dreadful Tom Cruise “Mummy” movie. With the “Mission Impossible” franchise he seems in full control of his cinematic properties, playing homage to what works and quickly discarding what doesn’t.
And here is what doesn’t work about “Mission Impossible: Fallout.” The film lacks any sense of logic or believability and when the director figures this out he’s going to take these films to the next level. He’s close, very close, and I’m not denying the likeability to “Fallout,” but there clearly is another level.
In the meantime, I’m happy to watch Tom Cruise run, and run, and run in order to save us all from a nuclear apocalypse. At the age of 50 he’s lean and mean and smiling while confidently quipping, “I got this.”
The Wine: Sauternes
Though a hearty red is also ideal for this week’s pairing, I love the idea of pairing a sticky, sweet wine made from sunshine filled Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc, produced often by luck in the Sauternes region in Graves, Bordeaux.
In order to create the dessert wine sensation grapes for Sauternes have been affected by Botrytis, also known as noble rot. After the normal harvest of fruit to produce still wine happens in the region, grapes are left on the vine to become afected by Botrytis. When conditions are ideal, moisture and cool temperatures transition the grapes from juciy and ripe to become slightly shriveled.
These overly ripe, botrytized grapes lose much of their water in the process, becoming partially raisined, with a light layer of dusty mold around them. The resulting fruit when pressed becomes highly concentrated, honeyed wines.
Sauternes is one of the few wine regions where infection with noble rot is a frequent occurrence. Even so, production is often a hit-or-miss proposition, with widely varying harvests from vintage to vintage. Perhaps the finest in the world is Premier Cru Supérieur estate Château d’Yquem ($230 for a 375ml btl via WineAccess.com), layers honey, orange blossom, acacia flowers and pineapple.