Wines to drink with the 2020 Oscar Best Pictures

Wine & Film Matching

Here at RIEDEL, we love a movie almost as much as a great glass of wine, so we’ve brought the two together!

For movie lovers, each year kicks off with a bang thanks to the numerous award ceremonies celebrating all things film. For a bit of fun, we've paired each of the nine films nominated for Best Picture at the 2020 Oscars with its matching wine. Check them out, listed below in alphabetical order!

1917

During WW1, two young British soldiers have an impossible mission to stop 1600 men from walking into a deadly enemy trap.

This gritty and moving film is a realistic depiction at the horrors of the First World War. It is a confronting look at two young boys given an enormous responsibility to defend their country, and while we considered a dark and moody red to accompany this film, we decided to honour the perseverance of human spirit instead. We suggest pairing this film with champagne to commemorate the depth, complexity and fragility of life, and remind us that the positive impact any one individual can have on the lives of others is worth celebrating.

 

Ford v Ferrari

Car designer Carroll Shelby and driver Ken Miles build a revolutionary race car for Ford to challenge Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966.

This fast-paced and fearless film is a classic tale of the underdog, made better by the fact that it’s true. It is exceptionally well acted by its two leads, Christian Bale and Matt Damon, who are consistently high performers just like the wine we’ve picked as a pairing: California Cabernet. This is a wine that has also been compared to a very formidable competitor (in this case, Bordeaux, not Ferrari) but has stood its own ground in recent history.

 

Jojo Rabbit

This World War II satire follows a lonely German boy, whose imaginary friend is Adolf Hitler, after he discovers his single mother is hiding a young Jewish girl in their attic.

It’s not often that you can describe a film about war as joyful, but that’s the perfect way to describe Jojo Rabbit. This heartfelt film is about youth, discovery, and managing life’s unexpected twists, and we think it is perfectly paired with a German Riesling. Fun and fresh when young, this wine shows impressive depth of character with age and will bring as big a smile as this cheeky and uplifting tale.

 

Joker

In Gotham City, a mentally troubled comedian, cast aside by society, embarks on a downward spiral of revolution and crime, bringing about his alter-ego.

Any super hero fantasy fan knows the Joker, with various iterations of this comically insane villain – but the latest version is looking for laughs in a much more serious, and realistic, Gotham City than ever before. This film is full of surprising twists and lingering impressions that will challenge an audience, and that’s why we think it’s well matched with Shiraz. Rich, moody, and packing some serious tannic punch, this variety also offers many iterations depending on what region it’s from. From dark berries to jammy fruits, from pepper and clove to olive and liquorice, this is a wine that will keep you guessing.

 

Little Women

Jo March reflects on life with her four sisters, who are each determined to live life on their own terms.

Written in 1868 by Louisa May Alcott, the Little Women story has such a timelessness to it that this is the sixth remake. Set during the American Civil War, this is a story about tenacity, heart, and authenticity: and we think it’s well matched to a good old-fashioned glass of red Bordeaux. This enduring wine region is known for its nobility and strength of character, and can be at once classic and modern, so will pair well with this ageless tale.

 

Marriage Story

An incisive and compassionate look at a marriage breaking up and a family staying together.

This film has been hailed as an honest look at marriage in all its heart-warming, and heartbreaking, glory. Quiet, elegant and emotional, its tale of two people getting divorced is as unique as it is shared: and that’s why we think there’s no better wine for Marriage Story than Pinot Noir. There are a lot of contradictions in this wine variety, which can be both fragile and powerful, understated and complex. Just make sure you serve it with a side of tissues!

 

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

A faded television actor and his stunt double strive to achieve fame and success during the final years of Hollywood's Golden Age in 1969.

The ninth film by Quentin Tarantino is about a classic period in Californian history, and shows how big egos can cause big waves. It’s fun and lively but also typically violent like so many of Tarantino’s films, and as such has been very polarising to film audiences: you either love it or hate it. Our immediate thought for a wine pairing was Californian Chardonnay, in honour of another great Californian in history: 1973 Montelena Chardonnay. This wine was known for dethroning some of France’s most prestigious white burgundies during a blind tasting in 1976, much to the upset of the French. It became known as the “Judgement of Paris” tasting and put Californian wines on the map.

 

Parasite

All unemployed, Ki-taek's family takes peculiar interest in the wealthy and glamorous Parks for their livelihood until they get entangled in an unexpected incident.

Parasite’s inclusion on this list is significant because it’s the first Best Picture nomination for a South Korean film in the Awards’ 91-year history. Described as a “comedy-thriller”, this film is all about the contrast of dark and light. It’s original and energetic, and takes an unexpectedly accessible look at social constructs. We’d recommend enjoying it alongside Tempranillo: it’s fresh, full of primary fruit, and zippy. It’s a fun wine to drink without the heavy tannins that can often put more timid red drinkers off, and it’ll keep you coming back for more.

 

The Irishman

A mob hitman recalls his friend Jimmy Hoffa.

Being hailed as one of Martin Scorsese’s best films, this three-hour saga also boasts an impressive cast with masterful performances. It’s big and heavy, a tough tale of masculinity, family, and friendship that spans fifty years. An epic like this needs to be paired with an epic, so we couldn’t go past the Super Tuscans. These wines are quintessentially Italian and, like Scorsese, have inspired a stylistic genre of their own. But you may very well need a mobster’s income to afford one!

 

What do you think, did we make the right matches?

Writer’s note: we adapted all our film synopsis from Imbd.com.