This weeks’ film and wine pairing exhibit two Italian classics.  You could say that Chianti Classico and the film Cinema Paradiso are two great musts from Italian culture.  Chianti is probably the most recognized wine from Italy.  Cinema Paradiso may not be the best of Italian cinema, but it is both charming and significant due to its subject matter which deals with film itself.

This Chianti Classico is made from 90% Sangiovese with 5% each of Canaiolo and Colorino. It is aged for about 6 months in large oak casks and the result is a full-bodied, fruit forward wine that has plenty of flavor. It has a deep purplish hue and strong aromas of ripe, dark cherry and toasty vanilla with a good dose of spice and herbs. It should be allowed to breathe for a long time- some suggest to open it a day before.  Frankly that seems a bit severe. Either way, this Chianti Classico is a winner and for the sale price of $12.99 a bottle, it would be silly to pass it up.

For film viewing or even Superbowl viewing, have this wine with an Italian meat and cheese platter which may include Salame Toscano ( Tuscan Salami), proscutto, and fontina,  pecorino, parmiganno-reggiano and gorgonzola cheeses. I would also include olive tapenade and crusty bread.

Cinema Paradiso won an Academy Award for best Foreign film in 1989.  The story concerns a well known film director reflecting on his boyhood when he befriended the projectionist of his small town movie theater – the Cinema Paradiso. It is at the movie theater that he not only learns of the outside world beyond his little village, but also how to handle his emotional ups and downs as he grows up finding love, tragedy, loss, and eventually success.

Some critics found the film a bit too sentimental, but I would suggest that this film was able to draw more people into not just the magic of movies, but particularly Italian movies.

So there you have it; two classic Italian musts ( actually three- we can’t forget the food) for the upcoming weekend.  If you’re a Super Bowl fan, try and squeeze the movie in before.  Afterall, do you really wan’t to hear about deflated footballs for two hours before game time?

.P.S.  Go Seattle!