Max Koch Uncorked

Wine-soaked adventures through a twisted life…

At-Home Film Festivals with Wine Pairings!

Here’s a way to spice up your over-two-decades-long relationship: At-Home Film Festivals with Wine Pairings!

We’ve enjoyed 2 now over here so far. The first one I curated, back in January. I called it “Venge-Fest”! Here, I even made a flier:

Venge Fest 1 flier

All you need to do is choose a theme that speaks to or means something to you, assemble 3 or 4 films you wish to present over the course of three weekend nights (or week nights if you’re not a REAL working stiff), and provide a few little fun factoids before each movie before you settle in. For example, with “The Last House on the Left”, I made it clear to my wife that the version I was showing was, in fact, a remake of the 1972 exploitation-horror classic written and directed by Wes Craven.

NIC: So…why aren’t we watching the original?

ME: Because I really love the re-make. I mean, wait’ll you see the ending. Aaron Paul from “Breaking Bad” is in it! And you just gotta see this Sara Paxton in action! 

NIC: Something tells me YOU gotta see “this Sara Paxton” in action.

ME: Listen, I’m not gonna lie, she looks ravishing in just a bra and panties swimming in a lake.

sara paxton

Then, this past President’s Day weekend, Nic was up to bat, and so she chose the topic of movies about unions. Next thing ya know – boom – “Union Fest”! Of course, the wife didn’t bother to draw a flier like I did but she did assemble a most appropriate collection of cinematic efforts.

Friday night was 1978’s “Blue Collar”, written and directed by Paul Schrader. This was a very odd, gritty little drama that I actually really dug. It contains some truly explosive performances by younger versions of Yaphet Kotto, Richard Pryor, and Harvey Keitel. I’m not entirely certain what the goofy guises were about during this theft scene, but I must say, I was surprisingly gripped throughout.

blue collar light

“Norma Rae” was the highlight of the fest (other titles included “Hoffa” and “Silkwood”). What IS it about this little Field-y thing? I don’t even know what to do with her, she’s so good. Best of all, she kept sniffing her armpits throughout the movie and talking about how hot and sweaty and ripe she is. Yum City. I like her! Right now! I like her! 


As for pairings, Nic got a little creative when it came to “Blue Collar”. She actually served Blue Moon BEER with Cara Cara Orange slices! Really brought home the taste and feel of the working class, I’ll tell you what (wait…I guess we should have been drinking Bud and/or Pabst, in that case).


It was kinda profound, though, since everyone drinks beer during “Blue Collar”. Especially after their work shifts at the bar that resides ON the grounds of the plant. In other words, hard-working folks would bust their asses all day on the line only to place their earnings BACK into the company! Crazy.

WINE PAIRING #1: For “Hoffa”, we enjoyed the Toccata 2009 Nebbiolo Barbera from Santa Barbera…a robust, Italian varietal and passionate pour. Which makes sense as Jack Nicholson’s Jimmy Hoffa makes a mob ally in fictional crime boss, Carol d’Allesandro, played by Armand Assante. I mean, does it get ANY more robust than Armand…?


WINE PAIRING #2: For “Norma Rae”, it was the Tres Hermanas 2008 Cab Franc/Merlot blend, again from SB County. It was like sipping Sally Field herself from the bottle. Only not NEARLY as sweaty, embattled, and worn-out as the poor dear winds up in “Norma Rae”.


Great wines. Great movies. GREAT to be home. Let me know what kinda at-home film fests/wine pairings YOU put together…

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