Wine + Movies with Juliana: Volume 3

Have you ever had that feeling where you’re not sure if you’re awake or if you’re dreaming? Perhaps you’ve had a moment of intense deja vu. Perhaps you’ve had one too many glasses of wine. Perhaps you have a feeling that the world around you isn’t as real as you’d like to believe.

This question is what propels the 1999 science-fiction film, The Matrix, forward.  Everyone’s favorite national treasure, Keanu Reeves, stars as Thomas Anderson, an isolated young man living a seemingly mundane life. Doubling as an average salesperson trapped behind a desk by day and computer hacker extraordinaire under the alias “Neo” by night, his underlying feelings of living in a dream world are strong and persistent. Plagued by the sense that he doesn’t quite belong, Neo spends most of his days holed up inside of his apartment, living a second life deep inside of the dark web. One day, an unexpected message pops up on his computer screen…”Wake up, Neo.” But wake up from what?

Neo is soon paid a visit by Trinity. Tall, dark, and unquestionably badass, she leads him to Morpheus, an enigmatic online presence that most people in the hacker community have only heard of. Neo has searched for Morpheus for his whole life, unaware that Morpheus has been looking for him, too.  It’s revealed that the life that Neo has been living is nothing more than a lie… a simulation… a computer program called The Matrix. In reality, the year is 2199, and the human race has lost a war against Machines. Humans are no longer “living” per se, but are grown and harvested as energy sources for the Machines, who created the Matrix to keep the human mind placated. Morpheus and Trinity help “unplug” Neo from the Matrix, as Morpheus has sought out Neo because he believes him to be the “Chosen One,” prophesized to end the war, defeat the Machines, and wake up the human race.

Is Neo the Chosen One? You’ll have to watch to find out. Even if you’ve seen the film before, you should watch it again. Like all of the best wines, this movie has aged incredibly well. The entire franchise is currently available on Netflix. While viewing, I would strongly suggest opening up a bottle of Eric Texier’s “Chat Fou”. This Cotes du Rhone red isn’t quite what meets the eye. While it is made up of 80% Grenache, there are some white varietals (Grenache blanc, Marsanne, and Clairette) that are co-fermented and added to the final blend. The producer, Eric Texier, describes himself as “old world” in his winemaking techniques-he’s minimalist in his production and his main focus is on the soil. “There’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path,” as Morpheus once said to Neo. Eric Texier is someone who is walking the path, and creating original and exceptional wines in a world where uniformity and mass production are increasingly the norm.

This isn’t your average wine, and the cat on the front label may bring to mind a certain “glitch” moment from early on in the movie.  Enjoy, and keep in mind that “to deny our own impulses is to deny the very thing that makes us human.” So, no guilt when you pop open that second bottle!