It's a Wonderful Life with Wine
Updated: Dec 5, 2022
Thank you so much to everyone that joined us for our festive screening of 'It's a Wonderful Life with Wine' at Millennium Point.
Read on for details on all the wines from the evening, our gallery of photos, and a bunch of trivia.
As promised, these are the wines we enjoyed ...
Graham Beck, Cap Classique, South Africa - Majestic £16.99 (£11.99 mixed six)
Known as 'The President's Choice' after it was served at Barrack Obama's presidential win and Nelson Mandela's inauguration, this Champagne style South African Sparkling is perfect for a Christmas morning.
Sturmwolken Dry Riesling, Pfalz, Germany - Sainsbury's £7.50
This fresh, zesty Riesling will stand up well to your Christmas Lunch. A perfect foil to cranberry sauce, pigs in blankets, turkey, veggies and rich gravy and a departure from the traditional Chardonnay pairing.
Bauer Mayr Zweigelt, Austria - Majestic £11.99 (£8.99)
If the traditional pairing for Christmas lunch is Pinot Noir then this is a fantastic twist. Another light red, slightly more body than Pinot Noir, the grape is also known as Rot-burger. It is a cross of St Laurent & Blaufrankish grapes. Red fruits on the nose, juicy black fruits and violet on the palate.
Réserve Hospitaliers Cairanne, Cru des Côtes du Rhône - Waitrose £11.99
Enjoying beef or goose on Christmas Day? .. this is the one. Bolder, more intense than the last red but still smooth and easy drinking. Vanilla, chocolate and Morello Cherries on the nose, black cherries and bramble on the palate with a touch of cinnamon and close .. very festive.
Graham's Late Bottled Vintage 2017 - Waitrose £14.00
Aged for two years in barrel, then bottled and aged for a further three years, this delicious port is bursting with red fruit and chocolate flavours. Great with Christmas pudding, chocolate, blue cheese or even on its own.
Some highlights from our movie trivia ...
Originally called The Greatest Gift, and written by Philip Van Doren Stern. No publishers were interested so Philip sent the story as a 21 page Christmas card to friends. An RKO Pictures producer saw a copy and bought the rights for $10k.
Cary Grant was to star but project went through ups and downs - RKO sold the movie concept to Frank Capra and he recruited Jimmy Stewart.
However Jimmy needed convincing by Lionel Barymore (Potter) as he felt the movie was too soon after WW2.
This is Capra, Reed and Stewart's favourite movie. It was also Donna Reed’s first starring role.
The movie bombed at box office, costing $3.7mill to produce and losing $0.4.
It wasn't until the copyright lapsed in 74 that the movie became free to show on tv for 20 yrs which drove its popularity. The ability to show it for free ended in '94 by which time it had become a much loved classic.
Bedford Falls was one of most elaborate sets ever, spread over 4 acres with 75 stores, 20 fully grown oak trees, factories, residential areas and a 300 yard main street.
The town was based on Seneca Falls in New York State where they hold Wonderful Life themed events each year.
The gym and pool is real and at a school in Beverly Hills that is currently being restored.
The film was shot during a heat wave of Summer 46. Look out for Jimmy Stewart sweating. Filming had to be stopped due to the insane heat.
They developed a new kind of snow for filming as traditionally they would use painted cornflakes. Unfortunately, these affected the audio so they used fire extinguisher foam with sugar and water.
Bert and Ernie are NOT the inspiration for the Sesame Street pair :(
The FBI didn’t like the film which was on a communist watch list for portraying the Capitalist banker as a corrupt scrooge.
Capra was hugely surprised at the movie’s success, he said:
“It’s the damnedest thing I’ve ever seen,"
"The film has a life of its own now and I can look at it like I had nothing to do with it. I’m like a parent whose kid grows up to be president. I’m proud… but it’s the kid who did the work.
I didn’t even think of it as a Christmas story when I first ran across it. I just liked the idea.”
We look forward to welcoming you back to another of our events very soon but why not check out our website or sign up to our monthly mailing list to find out about new events first:
Merry Christmas from Tony and the Wine Events Co. Crew