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Pairing Oscars and wine

Technology, taste, and time let me blend two of my favorite activities before the Oscar show airs March 27. Technology—whether streaming or renting—provides access to most of the nominated films and the chance to watch them again. Taste: these movies deserve a second viewing. Inspired by long ago best picture nominee Sideways and its celebration of pinot noir, I enhance taste by adding an appropriate drink while watching. As for time, ten nominees mean I need many hours to watch and imbibe. I set my itinerary by movie title, starting with B’s.

Belfast, Kenneth Branagh’s fond memory of the ties that helped his family through Northern Ireland’s troubled days, boasts an obvious pairing, Bushmill’s Irish whisky from the north. It goes down smoothly, as does the movie.

CODA, a fresh story about the child of deaf adults and her family that sparkles with energy. Again, the choice seems obvious: a sparkling wine. I go with an American variety like California’s Domaine Carneros.

Don’t Look Up satirizes current and potentially future serious threats in a tale where leaders insist the best way to avoid catastrophe comes by ignoring it. With their last moments imminent, friends and family join for a convivial meal that includes wine. I made out a familiar label called A to Z, a pinot noir.

Drive My Car features a journey into humanity and the familiar emotions that make us people. Not your standard best picture nominee, the movie suits something different to U.S. palates like a well-brewed sake.

Dune brings visual mastery to the futuristic world envisioned by Frank Herbert in his cult book trilogy. Given the story’s barren desert setting, the drink of choice seems clear: water.

But what goes with licorice pizza? Find out in Part 2 next week.

As for Oscar night celebrations, Reno’s Cordillera International Film Festival offers a shindig at the National Automobile Museum complete with red carpet. The C*I*F*F Oscar Party | Cordillera ( webpage provides details.

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