Christmas 2020 is upon us, and not all of us are able to spend it with family and friends this year. But, we will enjoy the holiday spirit in any way we can. One of the best ways to bring the essence of Christmas home is by watching holiday movies and listening to festive music. Enjoy watching some of our top holiday movies paired with our favorite wines (and sake!)—just the thing to get us in the holiday spirit…

5 Holiday Movies with Wine & Sake Pairings

1. “It’s a Wonderful Life” with Purple Angel

Release date: December 20, 1946 – currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Director: Frank Capra

This timeless classic of American cinema follows George Baily as he is about to give up the greatest gift given to us all (his life), when a guardian angel named Clarence is sent to him in Bedford Falls. The angel shows him how he has touched the lives of others and how different life would be for his wife and the community if he had not been born.

 

We all wish and hope we have a “Clarence” looking over us, but for now, uncork a bottle of the Chilean Carmenère Montes Purple Angel  and feel the presence of divinity in every sip.

2. “The Man Who Invented Christmas” and a Port that Dickens would love

Release date: November 10, 2017currently streaming on Hulu with membership

Director: Baharat Nalluri

What the Dickens would Christmas be without A Christmas Carol? In this 2017 adaptation of our beloved story, the focus is on Charles Dickens’s life following the success of Oliver Twist and his trip to America. Plagued by a string of failed books, near financial ruin, and the rejection of his publishers upon his return to London, the author embarks on a mission to write and publish a new book on his own.

The film focuses on Dickens’ creative process behind A Christmas Carol and the real-life characters of London who inspired him. The only worthy libation for this classic is undoubtedly a Fonseca Classic Vintage Port – although it hails from Portugal, port is considered as British as Christmas pudding cake.

3. “Elf” and a delicious sake cocktail

Release date: November 7, 2003 – currently streaming on STARS with membership

Director: Jon Favreau

Joto Umeshe, sake bottleSurely by now everyone has seen Elf, which is ranked among the greatest modern Christmas films. So, my fellow cotton-headed ninny muggins, let’s remember to live by “The Code of The Elves” this season:

  • Treat Every Day Like Christmas
  • There’s Room for Everyone on The Nice List
  • The Best Way to Spread Christmas Cheer Is Singing Loud for All to Hear

Adhering to Elfin rule number three: download the soundtrack for free on Amazon and belt along with Louis Prima, Lena Horne, Eartha Kitt, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, and more…it was certified Gold and sold 695,000 copies in the US, and is the second-highest selling soundtrack album for a Christmas-themed film since Nielsen SoundScan started tracking music sales in 1991.

Whether you are singing and dancing to the tracks or watching Elf, dust off your cocktail shaker and shake up a delicious Joto Sake Umeshu vodka cocktail for recipe click

Joto Umeshu Vodka Cocktail

Ingredients

  • 1.5 oz Vodka
  • 1 oz Joto Sake Umeshu “The Plum One”
  • 1 tsp ginger juice (from crushed or grated fresh ginger)
  • 3.5 oz club soda, chilled
  • Ice
  • Ribbon of ginger for garnish

Instructions

Grate a portion of fresh ginger and squeeze or strain out its juice. Fill a tall glass with ice. Combine the vodka and Joto Umeshu in a cocktail shaker or stir in a glass. Once mixed, pour the cocktail down the side of the serving glass full of ice (rather than over the ice itself). Top with club soda, once again pouring down the side of the serving glass. Stir gently and garnish with a ribbon of thinly sliced ginger. Enjoy immediately.

Medici Ermete Lambrusco

4. “Love Actually” and a bubbly red to match

Release date: November 14, 2003 – available for rent on Amazon

Director: Richard Curtis

The perfectly light-hearted romantic comedy is just the ticket for mistletoe season. Love Actually is a kaleidoscope of nine couples examining their relationships around Christmas time and the emotion that connects us all – love.

Pop a bottle of Medici Ermete Concerto, a sparkling Lambrusco that actually brings love to your lips with its brilliant ruby red color and delicate effervescence.

5. “Die Hard” and an unexpected sparkling

Release date: July 15, 1988 – currently streaming on HBO with membership

Director: John McTiernan

This action flick is the renegade of Christmas movies – it was never intended to be one! However, because the action is set at Christmas, it has become a top holiday film in its own right.  So, do something unexpected: stock up with your own ammunition of bubbles and get ready to pop some corks while watching the action.

Select Norton 101 Bubbles from Bodega Norton in Argentina, which is just as unexpected and unique to the world of sparkling wines as Die Hard is to Christmas, thus making them a perfect match.

Author

Vesselina Stoyanova, WSET II, attended gastronomy school in Bulgaria before migrating to the United States in 1991. She has worked in the wine and spirits industry for over 20 years and uses her combined knowledge of wine and food to create extraordinary combinations. Vessie is our go-to expert on perfect pairings providing recipe inspiration and culinary wisdom.

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