Important question: which wines match best with those lazy days (and nights) spent binge watching TV? Let’s throw the seriousness to the curb – the time has come to try a new pairing theme: wine and TV shows!
The ultimate TV binge actually has very little to do with wine tasting. A good wine tasting requires concentration and some introspection: neither of which are synonymous with mindlessly soaking up hours of Netflix.
But we’re human, so let’s give this a try.
Game of Thrones
Why it works: We’ve talked about the world of Game of Thrones and what their wines were probably like, but the one that gets mentioned the most by Tyrion and all of his wine swilling chums tends to be Dornish wine. Sandy and arid, it’s our guess that Dorne produces some amazing Tempranillo.
The Science Behind Flavors
Explore flavors in wine, and their origins, on this handy aroma wheel.
If you want some extra metaphor points, find an older wine that you can decant and observe as it changes over the evening. In the end, the wine will not be nearly what you started with, much like Game of Thrones itself (but hopefully you’ll still like it a whole lot more than the series finale).
Wine: Provence Rosé
Why it works: Forgive me if this sounds a touch stereotypical, but during the 15 seasons since Grey’s Anatomy first aired, I’m willing to believe that roughly 14 billion bottles of rosé have been consumed by the show’s fans alone (this is all backed up by incredibly precise math, I assure you). This show basically screams “yes way, rosé.”
A Provence Rosé, in particular, is perfect for this show, with its steely minerality pairing perfectly with all that hospital drama. Its delicate strawberry and melon notes are for the warmer, feel-good moments.
Wine: Something cloudy and natural
Why it works: Okay. To be clear, Wine Folly in no way endorses watching more than one episode of Black Mirror at a time. That’s one TV binge that lands you on “sad sack” street. But if you must, then you can’t go wrong with a natural, organic, or a wine from an otherwise sustainable winery or vineyard.
With all the messages of technology bringing about the end of civilization as we know it, you’ll get through each episode a little easier knowing that at least your wine wasn’t made in a way that could bring about the apocalypse.
Wine: Amarone della Valpolicella
Why it works: Did we miss an opportunity to suggest a Chianti here? Well, look at it this way: the original line from our favorite cannibalistic doctor was actually “I ate his liver with some fava beans and a big Amarone,” and that’s a way better pairing.
The erudite, snobbish tone of Hannibal will go down beautifully with Amarone della Valpolicella: one of the more expensive and sought after wines in the world. Plus, its deep notes of cherry liqueur, plum sauce, and black fig are quite visceral, and bring to mind certain… “meatier” elements of the show itself.
It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia
Wine: Something in a can
Why it works: Admittedly, It’s Always Sunny isn’t exactly the kind of show that inspires one to swirl, sip, and savor. That’s why it’s always a good idea to take Frank’s advice and be inconspicuous: and what’s more inconspicuous than wine in a can?
The Sunny gang is always on the move, always causing trouble, and never, ever learning from mistakes. And, nothing pairs better with that attitude than the sharp crack of a pressurized can full of something questionable (although, honestly, canned wine has come a long way).
Wine: Oaked Chardonnay
Why it works: Michael Scott always made it very clear that he was a wine connoisseur (and with notes like “kinda sorta an oaky afterbirth,” we’re desperate to read his wine journal). But despite all his obvious high-class knowledge, he’s still a man of the people. What’s more “of the people” than a buttery Chardonnay?
We might not have always seen it, but the crew at Dunder-Mifflin is sure to have knocked back more than a few glasses after their workdays, and this kind of Chardonnay does the trick. It’s bold, it’s inexpensive, and it’s something that pairs beautifully with complaining about your boss.
Wine: Orange wine
Why it works: There is very little you can compare orange wine to, and the absolute same can be said for the surrealist murder mystery that David Lynch bequeathed unto the world some 30 years ago.
Not only does orange wine offer something truly different (and sometimes a little strange) in its savory-sour notes of jackfruit, honey, and juniper, it keeps your attention, even while you puzzle over it. And just like Twin Peaks, some folks don’t fully understand its appeal! If you’d like to try something a little more coffee-centric for this one, coffee wine is totally a thing.
The Good Place
Why it works: The dubiously moral cast of The Good Place loves their cocktails. So, why not indulge in a pitcher of the low-alcohol delight that is proper Sangria?
When you’ve got a cast that is literally split between heaven and hell, you want to sip on something that has a little bit of both. Sangria is delightful, but even at it’s best, it’s the drink we make when you buy a wine that sucks. Plus, it’s really forking good.
Wine: Beaujolais Nouveau
Why it works: The 80s were a polarizing time with polarizing people. And one tradition that started in 1988 is still a dividing line for wine lovers to this day: the invention of Beaujolais Nouveau Day. So what better wine to celebrate the youthful nostalgia bomb that is Stranger Things than the fresh, earthy fruitiness of Beaujolais Nouveau?
Not a fan of Beaujolais Nouveau? Well, the 80s does give you options. White Zinfandel was massively popular back then. And this decade was also the advent of the wine cooler, so… What? You’re good with Beaujolais Nouveau instead? Fair enough.
Wine: …uh… Whiskey
Why it works: Listen, we love wine. Obviously. But trust us on this one: when you’re watching something about British crime families, go with whiskey.
That only covers 10 of the most popular TV shows to binge watch out there. So, what are some of your favorites? Any particular wines you like to pair your couch-a-thon with? Let us know!