Dracula 1931 with Wine at The Crescent Theatre
Thank you so much to everyone that joined us for Dracula on Saturday night . .
If you're reading this then that means that Tony Van Helsing and The Wine Events Company crew kept you safe with our anointed and blessed Romanian Wine.
Read on for details on all the wines from the evening, our ghastly gallery of photos, a whole bunch of Dracula trivia and some of those diabolical Vampire puns that had you booing me!
As promised, these are the Hallo-wines we enjoyed ...
Wine 1 - Bostavan DOR White Brut Sparkling Wine (Chardonnay & Pinot Blanc & Feteasca Alba) £23 Transylvania Wines – online
Traditional method sparkling. Decanter 89 point wine. Hand picked and sorted grapes. Vineyard plots of Onesti and Etulia.
Zesty green apple, stone fruits, a touch of grassiness and a soft, creamy mousse.
Wine 2 – Sorcova Pinot Grigio - Waitrose £7.99
From the South West of Romania, Banat, Romania's smallest wine region. History back to Roman Empire in 3rd century. Banat bordered by Serbia to the south, Mures Valley to north Banat Mountains to the east. Warmer than most of cent Europe but coolest Romanian region.
Grapefruit, peach and maybe blood orange on the nose! Melon and apple with citrus on the palate.
Wine 3 – Feteasca Regala, Atlas Range - ASDA £5.00
Feteasca Regala, the Royal Maiden. Award winner, 92% avg rating on the ASDA website, featured by Olly Smith on Saturday Kitchen. Another from the mountainous Banat region.
Soft stone fruit on the nose, NECK-terine and citrus flavours in the mouth!
Wine 4 – Incanta Pinot Noir - Majestic £7.99 (£6.49 in a mixed six)
Cramele Recas, vineyards in Banat and Transyvania.
Pinot Noir with a little Cabernet Franc. Well awarded, Burgundian in style but at a fraction of price. Same latitude as Bordeaux on the map so with their excellent soil these wines have every right to be good.
On the nose, bright red fruits. Hints of raspberry - ripe tannins, and an elegant palate with sour cherry finish.
Wine 5 – La Umbra Feteasca Neagra - Waitrose £6.99
The Black Maiden. Prahova Valley, between Bucharest in South and Brasov (Transylvania) in central Romania.
La Umbra, meaning shade, was inspired by the Romanian tradition to enjoy wines sitting in the shade of a large tree in the outdoor summer kitchen found in every rural home.
Full bodied, friendly wine, with berry aromas and dried plums notes.
Tony's 'Dracula Trivia'
Some highlights from last night's trivia ..
Lugosi was Hungarian, born 1882. 172 production in native Romania before he emigrated to Germany via Vienna after failed communist revolution of 1919, he was 37 as the time.
Acted in several movies in Germany before moving to the US as a sailor in New Orleans and then moving to New York to pick up his acting career again. In 1927 played Dracula on stage in Broadway, moving with the production to LA and living there where he reprised the role in our 1931 movie, carving out niche in this role .His accent helped but also prevented top billing from Karloff. His career unfortunately dwindled due to a reliance on opiates as a result of an army injury. Played Dracula one last time in 1948 for Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein. He was eventually buried in a cape.
On set, Lugosi would pace up and down with his cape, saying I am Dracula, I am DRACULA!
Dwight Frye who plays the crazed Renfield became typecast, playing jittery manic characters.
Van helsing doesn’t appear for 31 mins and doesn’t meet Dracula until 40 mins into the movie.
The film was based on the simpler Broadway script rather than Bram Stoker’s book due to savings required on production driven by the depression in the US.
Opossums, armadillos, and an insect known as a Jerusalem Cricket can be seen in the castle. The cricket was from California where the movie was filmed. People thought Armadillos ate buried corpses due to their burrows which could sometimes be found in graveyards.
The footage of the vessel taking to the seas to reach London was actually a clip from a silent movie, Storm Breaker (1925) the jerky movements are a result of the different frame rate of this footage.
Dracula's castle is actually a painting on glass, the coach in the background was real.
That hypnotic stare was achieved, unsurprisingly, by two pencil-spot-lights shone into Lugosi's eyes, he never blinks! The set of the castle was used for over a decade in scores of other movies.
There is no soundtrack to the movie, which seems strange now but sound was new and production thought viewers wouldn’t want the distraction of background music.
Other than the opening score, the only music heard is when Dracula meets Mina at theatre.
That opening music is from Swan Lake and they used the same piece one year later in The Mummy.
The bats flapping at the windows were real bats, coached to hover menacingly .. I'm joking!
I popped into Murder King on the way here .. for a stake burger.
Hunting vampires, I got in to watch a vampire race. Every race was very close, neck and neck in fact.
Vampires are terrible artists, always drawing blood.
Their poetry is even worse, it goes from Bat to Verse.
But they make great actors, it's in their blood and they love a part they can really get their teeth into. They love Shakespeare, especially A Midsummer Bite’s Dream.
At one point Dracula became something of a health freak, we've seen he doesn't drink wine and he almost gave up meat, he heard that stake was bad for your heart, he moved onto de-coffin-ated coffee but has always been known to enjoy a cheeky Blood Lite.
We look forward to welcoming you back to another even soon. Why not check out our website or sign up to our monthly mailing list to find out about new events first:
All the best from Tony Van Helsing and the Vampire busting Wine Events Crew