Oct 28 2010

Hallo-Wine: Les Raisins de la Mort

This week I watched a French horror film from 1978 called Les Raisins de la Mort, which translates to “The Grapes of Death.” Directed by low-budget legend Jean Rollin, it’s occasionally gory, but still atmospheric and creepy—it’s not dubbed either, and the French dialogue adds a bit of authenticity to vineyard-centric plot.

Most of the film takes place in the fictional village of Roublès, and centers on an environmental theme that was prevalent in many horror films of the 70’s: tamper with Mother Nature, and suffer the consequences. A vineyard uses an experimental pesticide on its crops, which turns anyone exposed—either through direct contact, or drinking the wine produced from sprayed grapes—into an infected, homicidal maniac.

Unfortunately for the villagers of Roublès, a recent wine festival means just about everyone is infected, except for a few survivors trying to escape. Ironically, two of them happened to drink only beer at the festival.

Aside from presenting environmental issues that are still relevant in 2010, Les Raisins de la Mort carries a general message that all wine drinkers can relate to: bad bottles can put people in a bad mood.

Here at Just Grapes, we don’t want you returning to the store like a citizen of Roublès, so we’ve rounded up some of our favorite Hallo-Wines to enjoy at this weekend’s parties, including:

2008 Velvet Devil, Merlot, Columbia Valley, Washington [$11.19]

Pitchfork not included.

From Charles Smith Wines. If velvet had a flavor this would be it. Bittersweet chocolate, dark Italian cherries. Sweet rose petals with a firm, satiny finish. Pure Washington Merlot.

2007 Luchador, Shiraz, South Australia [$14.39]

Who’s behind that mask?

The wine is dark purple and deep red in color and has copious amounts of vanilla, black licorice, oak, and blackberry jam on the nose. On the palate this wine shows a hefty amount of alcohol, oak, tar, and cassis. Best enjoyed with friends who are ready to rumble!

750ml NV Bitch Bubbly, Sparkling Grenache/Shiraz Blend, South Australia [$10.39]
Replace the “B” with a “W”…

Pale red/strawberry color. Vibrant sweet strawberries, sweet raspberries and berries with some toffee notes on the nose. Sweet strawberries, sweet candy, fresh berries, some sweet citrus, with long luscious creamy finish.

2008 Domaine Montirius, Cotes du Rhone, France [$15.99]

Biodynamic – Not from Roublès!
This biodynamic estate has made a blend with an almost episcopal purple coloring and a nose which effortlessly combines notes of violets, blackberries, licorice and truffle. A perfect accompaniment to rich meat casseroles.

One response so far