6 Hollywood Famed Grape Varietals

Lights. Camera. Action.


There are those wine lovers that have dreamed of making it big and having their name in lights. There are others that are happy to see their favorite grape varietals in the spotlight. Whether you’re watching these films for the sake of the storyline with a glass in hand or you’re watching these films for the sake of the wine (also with a glass in your hand), these 6 grape varietals reached celebrity status after their role in these Hollywood blockbusters.

Silence of the Lamb

In this 1991 American horror-thriller film, a FBI trainee, Clarice Starling, is given the impossible task of uncovering a murder mystery with the information gathered from Dr. Hannibal Lecter- a phycologist turned cannibal. In this chilling scene, Hannibal dominates the conversation and tells Clarice one of his favorite wine pairings: “[human] liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.”

Though it appeared in Hollywood, this is one pairing that will certainly not be making an appearance on any “Must Try Wine Pairing” lists anytime soon…

Pinot Noir

This 2004 comedy-drama might be single-handedly responsible for the spike in Pinot Noir consumption. The movie follows two middle aged men, Miles and Jack, on their journey to Santa Barbara County wine country to celebrate Jack’s upcoming wedding. Before heading into an important dinner, Miles has a major meltdown when told he might have to drink Merlot. He responds with what some passionate Pinot drinkers may still respond with, “If anyone orders Merlot, I’m leaving. I’m not drinking any (expletive) Merlot!”

Later in the movie, Miles explains his love for Pinot as he describes the tastes as “haunting and brilliant. Thrilling and subtle.” He goes on to say of his beloved Pinot, “it’s not a survivor like Cabernet that can thrive even when it’s neglected. No, Pinot needs constant care and attention.”

This grizzly teddy bear sure makes us fall in love with Pinot (and him) again and again.

James Bond

The name is Bond. James Bond. The champagne of choice is Bollinger. Double Oh Seven Bollinger.  

Bollinger became the official champagne of 007 in 1978 following its break out appearance in Live and Let Die in 1973. Drinking only the best, Bond is seen sipping the iconic bubbles in 14 different movies including the top two ranked Bond movies by Rotten Tomato: Skyfall, 2012, and Casino Royale, 2006. From Bond women dressed to impress serving champagne flutes to Bond himself whipping a bottle out of a hidden compartment in his sports car, it seems like Bollinger might be the first wine bottle to appear on the Walk of Fame.

Pinot Grigio
Bride Wars

This Girls Night In eat-everything-sweet-in-sight movie popularized how not to say the famed white grape drink. Which, of course, is how everyone is tempted to pronounce it now! When two best friends and brides schedule their wedding for the same date, the race to ultimate Bridezilla begins. Meeting with her wedding coordinator, Emma’s coworker tastes the complimentary wine only to suggest a “very elegant” wine, Pinot Grigio. Unfortunately, the cringe worthy pronunciation of the name is worse than hearing someone pronounce the “s” at the end of Illinois.  

Mr. & Mrs. Smith

The seemingly normal married couple, John and Jane Smith, reached the point of boredom in their marriage. But that monotony doesn’t last once they discover the other’s profession: skilled assassin. In the popular dinner scene, John, played by Brad Pitt, drops a bottle of Caymus Vineyards Special Selection Napa Valley to test Jane, played by Angelina Jolie. Jolie catches the bottle, realizes her cover is blown, and then chooses to drop the rich red wine on the white shag rug.

Assassin or not, we believe Beyoncé said our reaction best, “Don’t you drop that alcohol!” (Emphasis ours.)

Sparkling Muscatel

Possibly the last place in Hollywood you’d think to highlight wine, The Muppets Movie, 1979, is the first theatrical film featuring both the Muppets and Sparkling Muscatel. Announced by the cheeky waiter, played by Steve Martin, as “one of the finest wines of Idaho,” the wine makes an appearance on Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy’s romantic moonlit date. The two sip (through a straw) Idaho’s finest for a shocking $0.95 as the moon illuminates the love between these iconic lovebirds.

Lesson learned: you don’t need the most expensive bottle to have a perfect date. Way to go, Kermit.


Poison Wine
The Princess Bride

The chief antagonist’s death caused by the poison wine in The Princess Bride is ranked as one of the most memorable movie deaths by acclaimed movie critics. Amidst a rambling monologue attempting to outwit the man behind the mask, Vizzini the Sicilian chooses the wrong goblet of wine poisoned with iocaine. His prolonged speech (and life) end abruptly as the poison chokes him. In a genius twist, both goblets were poisoned, but the man behind the mask worked to develop a tolerance to the poison.

We don’t know what kind of wine this was, but we know that’s a tolerance build up we’ll applaud!