Search Boozehoundz

Friday, January 9, 2015

Foreign Pressed: What to Drink While Watching the Golden Globe Awards

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has been passing out, er rather passing out awards, for 70 years. What makes watching the Globes gripping is that our favorite actors drink during dinner at the Beverly Hills Hotel, which means that anything might be possible. So I scoured the real golden globe and found the best foreign-made booze to help keep the show and your attention moving. My pick of 10 wines and spirits from countries with nominating members and representation in the Hollywood Foreign Press Association to help keep your head and the globe spinning. (NOTE: The original version of this article was first published in The Hollywood Reporter. As a former actor – Young and the Restless, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Grace Under Fire – I miss my acting days, but I think I like writing about booze better.)

Moet & Chandon Grand Vintage:
Moet has been the official Champagne served at the Golden Globes for 24 years. I love the idea that celebs get loopy in public and that TV and feature film folk come together to talk, drink, and drink while talking, making for the only awards show to be truly entertaining and revealing. For the 2015 awards show Moet is pouring their 2004 Grand Vintage Brut Rose and is made up of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier into a dry style which is a delightful mix of fine pinpoint bubbles, pomegranate, currant, subtle black cherry, green apple and a crisp acidity. ($70,

Alsace, France - Helfrich 2012 Pinot Gris:
If there is truly a Theory of Everything, then Alsace would be the center of everything wine. Though it is now part of France, it was formerly part of Germany, and part of the Roman Empire if you go way back. Good thing the wines from this region only care about bringing pleasure across borders, like a Sony-North Korea reunion tour. If you assume Pinot Gris is an insipid white wine then you’ve never had a true iteration. Helfrich produces a terrific wine of weight and flesh with apricot, orange, sweet cherry and a creamy viscosity, all grown on one of the oldest vineyards with a history dating back to 589 AD. ($25,

Austria – Feindestillerie Plum Schnapps:
The tiny village of Stanz in Austria is the schnapps capital of the world, and if The Sound of Music cast were drinking this while filming near here the songs might have made more sense (there is an Edelweiss schnapps too, by the way). Authentic schnapps is not the crappy version you bought at your local liquor store at 2 a.m. for a fast and furious buzz. Owner and distiller Christoph Kossler has won plenty of awards for his pure unadulterated schnapps, which is simply just distilled fruit, or sometimes roots of plants. Therefore the sugar plum schnapps tastes exactly like plum, with the kick of a lot of alcohol. Typically schnapps is served after dinner as a digestive, something you might need to digest when the studio bumps your film’s release date…again. ($40,

Canada - Inniskillin 2013 Vidal Ice Wine:
Canadian Ice wine is an ideal after dinner wine not only because it is one of the quintessential dessert wines of the world, but like any reputable studio exec it literally has ice in its veins. Ice wine is harvested in the dead of winter and once pressed the grapes offer merely a drop or two of highly concentrated juice and frankly Jane the Virgin would not be one if she was drinking this. Sweet honey and apricot and a silky sweet/tart nectar of mango, apricot, clover honey, sweet vanilla, with a subtle but properly focused acidity makes this like velvet going down – insert your own joke here. ($55,

Chile - Santa Rita Triple C:
Santa Rita Winery was founded in 1880 in Chile’s Maipo Valley, long before Chile’s first feature film was made in 1910. The Triple C takes Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Carménère and blends them together in appropriate, but unequal amounts, much like star, director and producer. To honor the Globes this wine is best consumed with friends and partners; a pleasant wine in which to bask in your signed contract, assuming the ink is dry. This wine offers black cherry, pomegranate, blackberry, a hint of cedar and tobacco. ($40,

China - Jian Nan Chun Baijiu:
Baijiu (pronounced bye-joe) has been consumed in China for ages and the Jian Nan Chun iteration first started distilling around 800 AD, about the time Cecil B. DeMille was born. So what exactly is baijiu? Though there are different recipes across China, you need to go Into The Woods to find a mix of distilled sorghum and various grains like rice, wheat and corn. Baijiu is a sipping, celebratory drink, used most often at Chinese New Year and for toasting (Presidents Clinton and Nixon sipped this in China) so this is ideal if you win big at the Globes. The clear liquid presents an explosion of anise, licorice, and eucalyptus and a slight funk – think blue cheese and you’re on track. ($60,

England - London No.1 Gin:
If the good folks of Downton Abby were more chic and less uptight the Crawley’s and their servants might be drinking this classic British gin (though the show did win Golden Globes in 2012 and 2013). Using 12 botanicals from across the globe like juniper from Croatia, cinnamon from Sri Lanka, and proper British grain from Suffolk and Norfolk (northeast of London), this lightly colored aqua marine gin offers up a nose of orange and lemon peel, cinnamon which translates to licorice, all spice and coriander. Long live the queen, and gin! ($40,

Japan - Yoshinogawa Winter Warrior Saké:
Everyone’s heard of Saké, also known as rice wine, but most people have not actually tasted Saké, the good kind anyway, so it’s time to think nice about rice. The Yoshinogawa Winter Warrior is from the fifth oldest brewery in the world, longer than most awards shows have been around. From the semi sweet nose of muted citrus to the tropical notes on the palate of lightly floral fragrances and restrained musty flavors, this is a Saké for at least seven of your favorite samurai to enjoy. ($27,

Mexico - Del Maguey Vida Single Village Mezcal:
Yes George Clooney has his own branded tequila, but the newlywed may want to consider Mezcal, considered the parent of tequila. Mezcal is made from the agave plant, just like tequila, but it comes from a different part of Mexico in Oaxaca and was first created by the Aztecs. This organic mezcal, one of 18 iterations they produce, is distilled twice in copper pots over wood and flame and offers a specific nose of campfire smoke and sweet tangerine. The smokiness and tart/sweet combination of citrus, resin and cherry fills the mouth ending with a slight bite and a woody aftertaste. ($40,

Scotland - The Macallan 12 Single Malt Scotch:
Though Scotland voted down cessation - they “missed it by that much” as Maxwell Smart would have said - it still leads the world in terms of whisky. The Macallan 12 Year Old, is a single malt aged in Sherry casks from Spain, and has a nose of pure caramel, butterscotch vanilla and cedar. But this 12 year old also hits the palette with, citrus, resin and a little bite. A dash of water brings forth apricot and orange rind. Great for sipping or cocktails, this is that long-term quiet drink, meant to be nursed over time, most likely ideal for when the Globes are over and you wonder why you weren’t nominated this year. ($60,

No comments:

Post a Comment