The Alamo Drafthouse has announced the newest wines in their signature series.
The first pair of limited edition wines came out in January 2012. Based on “The Princess Bride,” there were two varietals in the “Bottle of Wits” line — the “Inconceivable Cab” and the “As You Wish White,” both of which were sourced from the Terravant Winery in Santa Barbara County, Calif.
The new wines, inspired by “The Silence of the Lambs,” are “The Cannibal Chianti” and “Suit Yourself Pinot Grigio.”
“Even before we launched the ‘Bottle of Wits’ series last year, we knew we had to reference what is in my opinion the most iconic wine moment in movie history, Hannibal Lecter’s now famous food pairing advice,” Alamo CEO and founder Tim League said in a news announcement about the new wines.
I went to the preview event to check them out last week, because I never did manage to try out the Bottle of Wits series. There was something unsettling about snacking on chicken livers with a soft Chianti while Hannibal Lecter utters one of the most notorious lines in film history on the big screen.
Hannibal Lecter’s Cannibal Chianti was produced in Italy, in a vineyard between Florence and Sienna. Eighty-five percent of the blend comes from Sangiovese, and the other 15 percent is composed of “smaller contributions” of Canaiolo and Malvasia del Chianti. The medium-bodied wine had more sweet fruit personality than the dry, tobacco and spice profile I expected. I wanted a bit more complexity and a longer, more prominently dry finish.
The Suit Yourself Pinot Grigio, a play on the Buffalo Bill character from the movie, is a 2012 vintage blend with grapes coming from California’s central coast and inland vineyards. The fruity and floral flavors take precedence in this overly sweet white. Bright peach was the most prominent flavor I could pick out. The tasting notes provided from the Drafthouse also lists tangerine, orange blossom, Mexican limes and honey. The bottom line with the Pinot Grigio is that it’s a big, fruity, sweet wine.
Both wines, which are quite approachable, will be featured with a special “Silence of the Lambs” feast on June 19 at the Alamo Slaughter (details and tickets at drafthouse.com). Alamo Drafthouse Austin Market Chef Trish Eichelberger developed a five-course themed menu to go with the wines for the screening. When I went through the tasting at the media preview, I decided that although I might not order the wines on their own, they paired very well with the food.
If you don’t make it to the feast, the wines will be available at all Alamo Locations for the next year for, on average, $8 a glass and $32 a bottle, and also available for purchase online at www.silenceofthelambswines.com.
Check out a calendar of June drinking events and more in Emma Janzen’s blog at austin360.com/liquid.