Wine and movie villain pairings you can take to the grave
I would be lying if I said I was a big fan of the horror genre. I don’t find enjoyment in getting startled. I remember getting stomach cramps after watchingThe Otherswith my family when I was kid. The (relatively tame, come to think of it) plot twist got to me! Some people aren’t built for the spooks, myself included.
But despite all this aversion, I understand the pleasure in fictional fear. Sure, my knees are buckled most of the time while I’m in the cinema, but I keep at least one eye open to keep track of what’s going on. The plot can be really good! Sometimes!
The more you watch horror, the more you realize that there is a wide selection of tried-and-tested tropes that are employed to varying degrees of success. And while tropes expand and give shape to classic horror stories, I find that what makes a movie iconic is the villain.The best horror movies, I believe, owe their appeal to full-bodied Big Bads who twist and warp the genre’s many, many tropes to create something novel and entertaining. These characters (figuratively, sometimes literally) hook us into their world, and more often than not the movie ends with us craving for more.
With the Halloween season here — cozy blankets laid out on the sofa, Netflix, and a spread of snacks and drinks on standby — I imagined how this scene would play out if the villains were inserted somehow. What are they actually like outside of the tropes that make them who they are? Do they prefer Jollibee or Mcdo? What’s their natural wine of choice?
Come to think of it, the horror world and the wine world are both experiencing exciting times: the popularity of natural wines are pushing boundaries the same way horror movies in recent memory are redefining the genre as a whole. Rarely do the twoterroirs intersect, so in keeping up with the under-served occasion, I played sommelier to a handful of horror movie baddies and imagined their natural wine of choice.
Hannibal Lecter + Icarus Cabernet Sauvignon + Merlot
Regardless of the version I choose (much love to Anthony Hopkins but the younger Mads Mikkelsen portrayal really does it for me), the iconic cannibal is pretty much always a man of exquisite taste. I think he’s pretty much the only movie villain that even has spoken for his love of a quality dry red, in this casepairing Chianti with “Fava Beans”. The Icarus Cabernet Suavignon + Merlot is rich, smooth, and earthy, and pairs well with meat of different kinds.
The Babadook + Cloé Rosato
Who is the Babadook?Queer icon aside, the titular villain of this sleeper hit leaves its own identity and by extension much of the film open to interpretation. But you and I and Mister Babadook know the fucking vibes: only the juiciest would fill the grief-filled void inside the Babadook, and Abbazia San Giorgio’s Cloé Rosato fits the bill perfectly. Dynamic, chug-able, and savory notes to taste, this light red is a definite classic, much like the movie.
The Hårga (Midsommar) + Podfuck
What can you offer to a Swedish pagan cult? Probably something to match their twisted yet elevated sensibilities, something one could call sublime. The Podfuck by Nestarec comes to mind. The bottle’s name, “trick” in Czech, calls to the cult’s penchant for deception and manipulation by way of its members, as we’ve seen through Pelle.
The Podfuck’s various iterations throughout the years, as the winemaker puts it, stems from a need for perfection — something the Hårga has been looking for, albeit under different contexts.
Pinhead (Hellraiser) + Floppy Giggle Day
In between theDead By Daylight announcement and theMegan Thee Stallion homage, the 1987 supernatural horror film and its many sequels (none of which I have seen, admittedly) finds itself back in vogue mainly because of its breakout pseudo-antagonist Pinhead.
Something as fun and exciting as the Floppy Giggle Day from Good Intentions co. would quench his hedonistic thirst after conducting psychological and emotional torture to his unsuspecting victims. The big boss of the Cenobites honestly just needs something to help him wind down, and a juicy bottle of natty would be something he can definitely derive pleasure from. In his words, “All flesh has desire; it only needs to be aware.” This time around, the desire is a quality, lightly textured Sauvignon Blanc.
Chucky + MK Rosé
Chucky’s almost-near ubiquity kills me. Throughout various reincarnations across his franchise, the killer doll has hacked, burnt, and shot his way to be as almost as iconic as his cohorts Michael Myers and Freddy Krueger. But somehow, he always comes short. Heck, he’s been through marriage, parenting, and teen counseling. What horror movie villain does that?
If I had known any better, he would have preferred something a little more stiff than a glass of natty should he enter a bar. Yet, I would wholeheartedly endorse the Konpira Maru MK Rosé 2020. Something that reminds him of himself: unfiltered, light, and definitely packing a punch (or stab).