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  • Writer's pictureTony Elvin

Goodfellas with Wine at The Mockingbird

Updated: 5 days ago

Thanks to everyone that joined us for Goodfellas with Wine.

It was a good night, we had some great wine and nobody got wacked.

As promised, here are all the fantastic old country wines, personally selected by Tony

Goodwines from the Old Country

"Garì" Grillo Brut Spumante DOC Sicilia - £12.50 Svinando

Winery goes way back to 1898 Francesco Nicosia, great grandfather of current owner planted vines in the volcanic soils of Mt Etna.

Hand harvested Grillo grapes fermetned in stainless steel tanks.

Peach and yellow flowers on the nose, fresh in the mouth with a sweetish kinda finish.

Da Vero Biologico Catarratto, Terre Siciliane £8.99 Kwoff

Grapes from the North West corner of Sicily between Marsalla and the capital Palermo. 500m above sea level with real chalky soils.

On the nost citrus, fennel and floral, in the mouth is smacks with fresh grapefruit and preserved lemon. Love the tangy, crsip finish.

Ca Di Ponti Grillo Kwoff £8.99

We go back to the grape of Sicily, Grillo. These grown on the western tip of Sicily, old vines, chalky, sandy soils.

A honeyed, floral, ginger and peachy nosy, citrus and creamy on the palate with a nutty finish.

La Bacca Nerello Mascalese IGT ND John £8.99

Oh, oh, oh, we're on onto the reds, and here’s one of the old country’s finest; Nerello Mascalelse from the rich volcanic soils of Mount Etna.

Sniff and you get redcurrants and cherry. Taste and you get soft juicy, ripe plum, red berry and cherry. Gentle tannins like you're being tickled by your Gummar with fresh finish.

Nero Oro, Nero d’Avola Majestic £11.99 or £9.99 in a mixed six

Nero meaning black, d'Avola - from the town of Avola in South East Sicily.

Nero Oro Nero d’Avola is one of Italy’s appassimento, or dried grape wines made from older vines. Grapes are picked and air dried to evaporate the water and increase flavour and alcohol.

On the nose Blackberries, Blueberries and Chocolate. Silky tannins, black pepper and wild berries on the palate. Delicious!

Photos from the hood

Wise Guy Diaries

Goodfella's is a true story based on the 1986 non-fiction bestseller, Wiseguy detailing life of Lucchese crime family assoc Henry Hill. The story is told between 1955-80 featuring real life gangsters James ‘Jimmy the Gent’ Burke and Tommy DiSimone.

Scorcese had pledged not to make another gangster movie until he read the book and cold called author Nick Pileggi, saying ‘I’ve been waiting for this book my whole life’.

‘Always wanted to be a gangster’. That line was voted number 20 in 100 Greatest movie lines of all time, ‘how am I funny’ was voted a number 87.

The funny guy scene was real too, not from the book but from Joe Pesci working as a waiter and telling a mobster he was funny. Scorcese included it, but not in script so they could get best reactions from the rest of the cast when they did it.

Al Pacino was offered the role of Jimmy Conway but turned it down for fear of being typecast, he then played a gangster in Dick Tracy, in the same year. A decision he regrets. De Niro offered the role of Tommy or Jimmy.

Scorcese worked with Pileggi on the screenplay. He chopped Henry Hill’s story to create distinct chapters, chose the best, then started in middle, back to the beginning and set up for a big finish.

That dinner scene at Tommy’s mammas, love that. His mother was actually played by Scorcese’s mother. The scene was almost completely improvised where things like the butchers knife and the hoof references got introduced. Scorcese often got the cast to improv, watched it happen and wrote the best lines into the script. Tommy's Mom's picture, one dog this way, one dog that way was actually painted by Pileggi’s mother.

The voiceovers in the movie are almost verbatim from Henry Hill’s transcripts to Pileggi.

When Joe Pesci’s mother saw the movie, he asked her if she liked it, she said 'yeah but did you have to curse so much?' She might have had a point . . when they made it, it had the most profanities of any movie. 70 f%cks in the script but with all the improv, the cast took it to 321. That’s a f%ck every two minutes and 4 seconds. It's now just no.14 in the list, Scorcese’s Wolf Wallstreet is at no.3.

Tom Cruise, Nicolas Cage, Sean Penn, Alec Baldwin, Val Kilmer & John Travolta were all considered for the role of Henry Hill. Liotta was considered for lead after Scorcese saw him in Something Wild and Field of Dreams, he loved his energy. The decisoionwas sealed at the Venice Film festival when Liotta was cool when rough handled by bodyguards keeping him away from Scorcese, just like Hill. Scorcese didn’t want Liotta to speak to Hill because he wanted him to take his own direction, and not copy the real Henry Hill.

Liotta described himself as the glue to De Nero and Pesci, focusing on making them as good as they could be. Liotta said that Robert De Niro and Tina Sinatra put a fake horse’s head in his bed to welcome him to mamfiosa movies.

Not saying us guys get typecast but this movie shares 27 actors with The Sopranos.

Love this movie? No surprise, it was voted #1 Total Film’s greatest movies of all time.

DeNiro was obsessive about replicating Jimmy Conway and would regularly call Henry Hill to ask how Jimmy would hold a cigarette or put sauce on his plate.

Henry Hill and Tommy are played by mature actors in their 30’s but in their heyday were only in their 20’s. Actually Henry hung out with mob boss Paulie’s son, not Tommy.

And, some of the money from the Luftansa heist, which was real, was used to fix matches with Boston College Basketball players.

At the premiere, Henry Hill turned up revealing his true identity, and getting himself kicked off witness protection.

Had a few too many on the night? Can’t quite remember how it all went down?

Here’s a review of the event from a real pro, movie blogger, goodfella and regular attendee to our wine events, James ‘the pen’ Marshall:

Now get outta here!

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You still here? Forget about it!

Tony, Marie, Maria, Paulie and the rest of the Wine Events Co Crew


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