movie wineFilm buffs in Wine Country have an insatiable craving right now for sappy Christmas movies, and the right wine to pair with it. I know because I’m one of them.

Every year, without fail, we watch these holiday movies because they inspire us to believe in some semblance of goodness in this world, particularly during unsettling times.

Uncorking a great bottle of wine while watching a sentimental movie has become a rich tradition at my house. Of course choosing the right wine — bottling film noir — is always the trick. But after giving this some thought, I’m confident you’ll have fun with these pairings.

It’s a Wonderful Life
George Bailey (James Stewart) is reinvented thanks to his angel (Henry Travers). For this reason, this sentimental wine with wings is in order: Merry Edwards, 2011 Angel Wing Pinot Noir. The bottling has angel wings etched on it, and Edwards produced it as a tribute to her son, Warren Miller, who passed in 2006. It’s no longer available at the winery but you can find it online, in some places for $50. Of course, knowing the backstory is enough to make any pinot at Merry Edwards a worthy, sentimental pick.

A Christmas Story
Ralphie Parker (Peter Billingsley) is so preoccupied with getting a Red Ryder air rifle, he isn’t the least bit upset when his Christmas turkey is devoured by a pack of dogs. Since the family winds up eating at a Chinese restaurant, the best pick here is a good riesling. One that pairs particularly well with spicy food is: Kung Fu Girl, 2014 Evergreen, Columbia Valley, Washington Riesling, at $12.

A Christmas Carol
A trio of ghosts ultimately win over Ebenezer Scrooge (George C. Scott), but before that he’s so miserly the film calls for this budget wine: Picket Fence, 2013 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, at $15.



White Christmas
Singer Bob Wallace (Bing Crosby) ultimately triumphs as the white knight for singer Betty Haynes (Rosemary Clooney). This victory, coupled with that surprising snowfall in Vermont, calls for this celebratory sparkler: Gloria Ferrer, 2007 Royal Cuvee Carneros Brut at $37.


Miracle on 34th Street
After an old chap going by the name of Kris Kringle (Edmund Gwenn) fills in for an intoxicated Santa in Macy’s annual Thanksgiving Day parade, the magic begins. For this reason a magical wine is in order, one that will make you believe in the goodness of the world, and most particularly, the wizardry of winemaking. This one will turn heads: Black Kite, 2013, Soberanes Vineyard, Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir, at $55.