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Wines That Are Accidentally Wes Anderson
"You better not be acting like you're in a Wes Anderson film in this newsletter."
If you’ve spent any time on TikTok or Instagram this spring, you’ve surely seen the “You better not be acting like you're in a Wes Anderson film” meme—ie. people posting little videos of their lives in the cinematic style of Wes Anderson to the accompaniment of “Obituary” by Alexandre Desplat. Some of the videos are great, like this one, this one, and this one.
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Long before this meme, friends regularly accused me of “acting like you’re in a Wes Anderson film.” In the world of wine and spirits, I have been accused of this because I enjoy eaux de vie, because I love light red wines, because I’m generally an insufferable Europhile, along with many other reasons. In the very first pages of my book on obscure grapes, I am eating melted cheese at Le Temple de la Raclette, riding a tiny cable car up into the Alps to meet a reclusive winemaker, and debating the sex lives of grapes. Yep, it all checks out. I’m not even “accidentally Wes Anderson.”
Anyway, since we’re in the dying stages of this particular meme (and the videos are getting less and less good) I figured I would jump on the Wes Anderson bandwagon as a way of talking about some wines I’ve enjoyed lately and would like to recommend to you. Can Wes Anderson clips replace the typical wine tasting notes? Well, we shall see.
Wines With A Wes Anderson Vibe
This is a vin de pays from the younger vineyards in Condrieu, the northern Rhône region famous for the quirky viognier grape. This has all the classic tropical fruit and floral aromas of Condrieu, along with lively spice and acidity that you don’t usually find with viognier. Or in Wes Anderson speak, it has notes of Monsieur Gustave H in The Grand Budapest Hotel, “who was, by the way, the most liberally perfumed man I had ever encountered.”
Made from 100 percent grillo, this is lithe, supple, graceful, and natty, with a great balance of bright citrus and wild herbs. Even though this wine is very modern-day Sicilian, it’s giving Timothée Chalamet in The French Dispatch vibes.
Though Chinon is known better for cabernet franc, this surprising, full-bodied chenin blanc is full of ripe orange fruit—apricot, tangerine, mango—and big floral and honeysuckle aromas. Underneath, there’s a salty, earthy, stony core. I see this as Adrian Brody The Darjeerling Limited (a film I really love but which some fans do not).
From the unique red clay soils of Marcillac in southwest France, made with an obscure grape called fer servadou (aka braucol or mansois). It’s a savory mix of grilled peppers and ripe cherries spiked with anise, with wildflower aromas, and a ferrous core that’s like fresh blood. This one gives serious Richie Tenenbaum vibes.
Made from the mysterious ruchè grape, which was nearly extinct in the late 20th century, but was saved by winemakers in Piedmont. If wines are colors, this is blue—blueberry, blue plum, ripe blackberry—balanced by a pleasant chalkiness at the edges. As I drink this, I picture Max Fischer in Rushmore saying, “I saved Latin. What did you ever do?”
One of my favorite wines in the world—a steal at $30, and more memorable than reds at twice the price. From the listán priesto grape grown at 1,000 meters elevation on the Canary Islands. Packs a volcanic punch, with notes of all the peppers—white, black, green, pink—and great juicy flavors of tart pomegranate and cranberry. I don’t why, but this one is all Margo Tenenbaum to me.