“Avengers: Endgame” & Benziger Wines on This Week’s “Cogill Wine & Film” Podcast

This week’s “Cogill Wine & Film, A Perfect Pairing” Podcast, on reVolver Podcasts we toast the super hero, box office bonanza, “Avengers: Endgame” pairing with a winery doing their part to help save the world like our Avengers, Somona’s Benziger Family Winery. And, we raise a glass to the City of Waxahachie, Texas and the “Crossroasds of Texas Film & Music Festival” which we just returned from. For more on the film and the wine, take a peak the the post below. To listen to the show, click here, or listen through your favorite podcast site, including Spotify, iTunes, IHeartRadio or Google Play. Cheers and Aloha!

The film: “Avengers: Endgame”

Let’s get straight to the point.

“Avengers: Endgame” is the best film in the Marvel cinematic universe, even better than “Black Panther,” and “Avengers: Infinity War.” It’s also a source of comfort to fans who have agonized over what does it all mean, what will happen next, and does it all end?

That was not my case going into the theater. I have been a fan of some of the films and not all of them. I found “Black Panther” enlightened and a breath of Marvel fresh air which had become a bit stale for me.

But, “Avengers: Endgame” delivers on so many levels it’s hard to keep track. Cinematically it’s a pleasing often thrilling film, but emotionally it soars as a stand-alone comic book tome to our ability to sacrifice and save each other while saving the planet.

No politics here. These are just flawed characters doing good things.

Can you enjoy “Avengers: Endgame” without prior in-depth knowledge of the Marvel universe? Sure, why not? In fact, the film has an uncanny ability to make you want to re-visit some of the earlier films to see how far they’ve come.

The film features an impressive bit of writing to make such complicated characters and scenarios make sense, and with such a good dose of humanity. What has evolved from a hideous amount of collateral damage has finally come full circle to value every strand of human life, no matter how different, no matter how unique.

And then there’s the star-studded cast that makes it all so believable. It’s a privilege to see the dozens of name actors do some of their best work including Tilda Swinton, Tom Holland, Robert Downey Jr., Don Cheadle, Renee Russo, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner, Paul Rudd, Josh Brolin, and Brie Larsen. I’m just getting started.

Do yourself a favor and step out of your comfort zone if you are not connected to the Marvel universe and indulge yourself for three hours. It’s that good.

If you are already an “Avengers” fan then by all means, multiple visits to your local theater are in order.

And finally, it’s the celebration of humanity & dignity that makes “Avengers: Endgame” so compelling and complete. It’s good to have high expectations and when a film meets or surpasses those expectations pay attention.

I certainly am.

The Wine: Benziger Tribute Bordeaux-style Red Blend

Our avenging avengers that had one purpose turn back the clock and save Mother Earth and its former inhabitant. As we face a changing climate every day, it is comforting to know many wineries are trying to do their part to turn back the years of pesticide and chemical ridden farming by producing wine in the most caring way possible, including making biodynamic, organic and sustainable selections. One of these that has led the pack in these efforts is Sonoma winery, Benziger.

In 1973 Mike and Mary Benziger packed their midwest bags and moved to California establishing Benziger winery in Sonoma County shortly after that. Within the next few years pretty much every member of their family moved west to follow, creating a family winemaking commune in the Sonoma hills of Glen Ellen.

Understanding the changing earth around him, and the effect this had on their harvests and their wines they slowly began changing their farming habits to more sustainable efforts, followed by organic and biodynamic. In 1995 their Benziger Sonoma Mountain Estate transitions from conventional to biodynamic farming, becoming certified as a Biodynamic Farm by the Demeter Association in 2000. Their signature wine, a Bordeaux style blend, Tribute ($80, via Wine.com), becomes first Certified Biodynamic release from Benziger Sonoma Mountain Estate, and the first biodynamic wine from Sonoma. The Cabernet Sauvignon dominant red blend layers dark cherry, luscious black licorice, dark chocolate and leather notes with complexity and balanced structure.

Though not all the Benziger wines are biodynamic, every wine they produce from either estate fruit or fruit sourced from other vintners carries a third party certification of green farming practices. Each vineyard is carefully managed with the most eco-responsible methods available. And the bonus that clean, green farming ensures is that the wine tastes like the land, each shines with a sense of place, detailing the terroir in each glass.

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