Wine + Movies with Juliana: Volume 2

There are some films that don’t age. The record-breaking 1991 American psychological-horror film, Silence of the Lambs, is one of them. This film won 5 Academy Awards- Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay; its the 3rd movie in history to do so.

             The story follows young FBI trainee Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) as she tries to track down Buffalo Bill, an active serial killer who has been abducting and subsequently murdering young women at an alarming rate. The latest girl to disappear is a Senator’s daughter, leading to an even more frenzied search. Claire receives help from an unlikely source; the notorious Hannibal Lecter (Sir Anthony Hopkins). Lecter is a former psychiatrist and currently imprisoned cannibal/serial killer, sentenced to waiting out the rest of his life in a windowless cell in the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane.

            Although initially dismissive of Clarice, Dr. Lecter eventually decides to help her profile Buffalo Bill in exchange for a transfer to a different prison. Rather than discussing the actual case, Lecter has Clarice recount traumatic childhood events; one of them being a time where she was awoken in the middle of the night by the sound of lambs screaming for slaughter, revealing the story behind the film’s title. He also tells her that all of the information that Clarice needs to solve the case is already in the files that she has. After analyzing the files further, she realizes that Buffalo Bill knew his first victim personally, and she sets off to his hometown in search of his identity. It’s also at this time that Lecter escapes from his cell, gruesomely killing the guards and several others.

            After combing his hometown in Ohio and questioning the locals, Clarice finds herself inside the home of Buffalo Bill. To her horror, she discovers that he’s been attempting to form a “woman suit” out of human skin. She also finds the Senator’s daughter alive and trapped at the bottom of an empty well. A terrifying struggle ensues- Buffalo Bill cuts the lights and attempts to kill Clarice, but gives his position away when he cocks his revolver. She empties her rounds into the psychopath, effectively killing him and saving the day (to put it very lightly). Naturally, the film ends with Clarice receiving a call from Lecter, who asks that she doesn’t try to track him down. He ends the conversation quickly, letting her know that he is “having an old friend for dinner.” A perfect final line if there ever was one.

            Mr. Lecter chose the wine for this month’s mailer. “I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.” While I can’t speak for the human liver and Chianti pairing, I do think that fava beans and a glass of the 2016 Fontodi Chianti Classico would be a killer (pun intended) pairing.

            All Fontodi wines are sourced from their own vineyards and 100% hand harvested; the estate has been run by the Manetti family since 1968. Giovanni Manetti has been managing it since 1979, and has been instrumental in pushing the region towards higher quality production. He is also the new President of the Chianti Classico consortium. Their Chianti Classico is 100% Sangiovese and ages in Troncais and Allier barrels for 18 months before bottling. It’s sleek, with black cherry and blackberry notes. Smoke, anise, violet, tobacco, and mineral notes all swirl together with the fruit to create impeccable balance. Swap out the liver for some nice rabbit or wild boar, and you have a meal that Lecter would almost approve of.