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Oscar-Wine Pairings

Updated: Aug 5, 2021

As a board member of the Northern Nevada Wine Association, helper with the Cordellera Oscar party and voter with the Las Vegas Film Critics Association, I view awards season as a time to combine two of my favorite activities. Rather than predict winners, I prefer to pair each nominee with a wine that reflects the movie’s qualities. Eight nominees provide more than a week of sitting back and appreciating the wine-movie combo at home. Part one of my suggestions comes in alphabetical order:

The Father gets a best picture nod based largely on its nominated performance from Sir Anthony Hopkins undergoing the frustrations of Alzheimer’s disease. His character suffers, but like a fine burgundy, Hopkins ages with brilliance.

Judas and the Black Messiah follows energetic story telling techniques as its main characters fight tradition and work outside the system. A grape like petite sirah meets those criteria, especially one from Theopolis.

Mank includes the wild party life at Hearst Mansion that helped inspire the movie Citizen Kane. French Champagne poured with abandon, a good choice to savor while watching.

Minari portrays the American Dream from a Korean immigrant perspective. Both deep and refreshing, it fits the description of the bright but solid wines from the grenache grape.

Nomadland takes on key issues of finding the right home when fate disrupts a long-settled life. Combining both fictional and documentary styles, the movie features unexpected hybrid elements, which reminds me of a seemingly odd blend of grapes that works well, a structured viognier with a light chenin blanc.

Promising Young Woman puts some surprisingly sweet rom-com moments into a powerful look at rape and its aftermath. It reminds me of the jolt you get from drinking port—af first it goes down easy but its extra dose of alcohol provides packs a punch.

The Sound of Metal features a standout performance from Riz Ahmed as a musician coming to terms with harsh realities of his life. That leads me to a Bordeaux blend where tough, tannic grapes like cabernet get softened by merlot.

The Trial of the Chicago 7 explores a real group of rebels who hoped to make changes by using the system. Often viewed as a U.S. original, zinfandel reflects a revolutionary spirit.

These films stream on various services, along with most other nominees. You can catch my other movie-wine suggestions online at, plus discover which movie wins with the April 25th Oscar broadcast.

And my choice for winner? Nomadland remains the favorite amidst the award circuit, plus it bears a special place in my heart for using Nevada locations.

But, to whoever wins: Cheers!

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