by Advanced Sommelier Jenny Benzie
Festivals are aplenty in the summertime of Nantucket. Almost every weekend you can find the island full of luminaries and experts of a certain craft, along with budding enthusiasts who wish to meet and greet the people who have somehow influenced their lives. The Nantucket Film Festival, celebrating its 23rd year, has used Nantucket as its home to promote the cultural awareness and appreciation of the art of screenwriting in the world of cinema. Numerous films have been inspired by or produced on the island. The people of Nantucket have also been open to receiving and viewing independent films that entertain and often times push you to consider important forthright social issues. No matter your genre of choice in film, here are some brief insights into a handful of movies being featured at NFF this weekend, along with a beautiful rosé wine for the perfect match.
A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD
Many of generations have been avid fans of the late, great television show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. While the show was aimed primarily at preschool aged children, it was appropriate for people of all ages. One of the many things Mr. Rogers was known for was the daily ritual of routine upon entering his home. He would take off his overcoat to hang in the closet and put on his zippered cardigan sweater, followed by donning his famous blue sneakers. Whether it was a visit to the “Neighborhood of Make-Believe” or meeting people in his own neighborhood, Mr. Rogers was always calm, pleasant, and just himself. Be sure to check out the documentary WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR to learn more about his life and great influence. Mr. Rogers was a longtime summer resident here on Nantucket, with a home on the western side of the island on Smith Point in Madaket.
Mr. Rogers would have agreed that Madaket is a wonderful place to catch an alluring summer sunset. The beautiful colors in the sky are reminiscent of the pale pink hue found in the new release of Nantucket Vineyard’s Dry Rosé 2017. The wine is made from a mélange of 56% Grenache, 39% syrah and 5% mourvédre, a typical blend used for making delicious rosés in the South of France. The grapes are sourced from the Rogue and Applegate Valleys in Southern Oregon, then “washashored” on island for their final phases of production. This crisp wine has notes of red apple skin and bright cherry. Best served chilled with take-out lunch from Centre Street Bistro and a sign of sunshine
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Summer romances are a “shore” thing to find on Nantucket, and while many of them end up in wedded bliss, not every relationship should make its way back to the shores of the mainland. TEN THINGS WE SHOULD DO BEFORE WE BREAK UP will be celebrating its world premiere this weekend on Nantucket. The storyline is “After Abigail, a single mom of two, becomes pregnant following a one-night stand with Ben, the unlikely pair try to make a go of it.” The movie stars Christina Ricci and Hamish Linklater and was directed by Galt Niederhoffer.
It seems that everywhere you turn these days, you can find a list of what you should be doing paired with any life event. The perfect pairing for a “to-do list” of this length should be a magnum size bottle of Commanderie de Peyrassol Cotes de Provence 2017 en magnum/1.5L. The fruity flavors of a blend of cinsault, syrah, and grenache are nicely sharpened with a touch of mourvédre. Its appealing rosy appearance then leads to an aromatic nose of gooseberry, raspberry and a touch of minerality, followed by a crisp, silky finish. You might need an extra large popcorn sans butter with this large format!
SHORT BUT SWEET
A short film is any motion picture that is not long enough to be considered a feature film and has a running time of less than 40 minutes. For those of you with a short attention span, this may just be your calling! Short films are often screened at independent film festivals, such as the Nantucket Film Festival, and have a low to no budget at all. They are often personally funded, or sometimes with the help of a sponsor, and an excellent way for filmmakers to gain experience or showcase their talents in hopes of future funding. MOTHER, MOTHER is one of many short films featured this weekend. The ever-brief synopsis is about a mother who takes an overnight getaway. The short film is directed by Robert Machoian and Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck, who met during film school at California State University.
Short films demand short bottles to ensure the wine is finished in a timely fashion with the rolling of the movie credits. Miraval Cotes de Provence 2017 375ml is the apropos pint size bottle needed for this such endeavor. Even more so, this winery and vineyard are owned by filmmakers Brad Pitt and Angeline Jolie and the site where the couple was wed. The red grapes of cinsault, grenache, and syrah are joined with a touch of the white grape rolle, which is the secret ingredient to toprated rosé wines of the region. This pretty pale pink wine has intense aromas of fresh red fruit and spring flowers and elegance on the finish that lingers long after the movie is over. Serve with a small side of French Fries—yum!
Navigating family relationships can be hard. Feelings are easily hurt, lines are constantly blurred and everyone has an opinion. To make it even more exciting, let’s throw in a road trip. In the movie BOUNDARIES, the mom Laura (portrayed by Vera Farmiga) and her son Henry (Lewis MacDougall) drive her estranged, pot-dealing, carefree father Jack (Christopher Plummer) across country to live with the sister after being kicked out of a nursing home. Director Shana Feste takes us on a family journey with some unusual curves in the road that make you feel like your clan may be somewhat normal after all.
In order to deal with all the personalities present in this narrative film, the perfect wine for helping to set and maintain boundaries is Pascal Jolivet “Attitude” Rosé 2017. Pascal Jolivet is well known for his whites from Sancerre and across the river in Pouilly-Fumé. However, he wanted to create a high quality Loire collection of wines from the valley itself and not just from a specific area. This rosé wine is a result of this reflection and his aptitude in working with the region and corresponding grape varietals. Made from dominantly Pinot Noir with a splash of Cabernet Franc and Gamay Noir, this wine offers a unique sensual color due to the direct pressing of the grapes. This medium bodied wine is flesh with ripe fruit flavors and a pleasant minerality on the finish. Attitude, raw oysters and the ocean are a tantalizing trifecta!
One of the amazing things about the world of movies is that there is a genre for everyone. From comedy to drama and many themes in between, we can often relate to the characters on the screen or simply be entertained by them. This is also true in the world of wine, where there are wines in many price points, from different regions and a vast array of grapes, making your pairing possibilities of the two endless. Each is special in their own right based on the many factors that make it what it is as a whole. As Mister Rogers always said, “You always make each day a special day. You know how: By just your being you/yourself.” Cheers to that!