Academy Awards nominations are a lot like wine -- some years are packed with talent while others really suck. This vintage is pretty impressive all around, with the Actor in a Leading Role category in particular loaded with standout performances. It got me thinking about what kind of booze would best represent each nominee.
Javier Bardem, Biutiful
Confession time; I didn’t see Biutiful. I did, however, read the Wikipedia synopsis. Bardem plays a crook battling cancer in Barcelona. Since Spain is a co-star, a ripe and rustic Rioja red wine like Campo Viejo’s 2006 Crianza ($14.45 - $17.99) matches him biutiful-ly.
Jeff Bridges, True Grit
Bridges follows up last year’s Oscar win by stepping into the boots of the character that won John Wayne his only golden guy. Since this is a classic western, nothing represents Rooster Cogburn better than a classic American whiskey like Jim Beam White Label Bourbon ($25.44 - $26.49).
Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
The Facebook flick is true to Mark Zuckerberg’s love of beer by having Eisenberg drink German lager as he makes friends, enemies and oodles of money. Beck’s (6 x 330 ml, $12.95 - $13.28) is the obvious inspiration for whatever he has in his dorm room fridge and this bright brew with a slight bitter finish suits him to a tee.
Colin Firth, The King's Speech
Firth has a lock on Oscar with his turn as Queen Elizabeth’s stuttering dad. His sensitive performance deserves a subtle liquid identity, and the delicate aromas of cucumber and roses in Scotland’s Hendrick’s gin ($42.95 - $44.45) are a perfect fit for this Brit – especially, by George, when combined with a splash or two of tonic water.
James Franco, 127 Hours
OK, if I went rock climbing (which will never happen), got caught under a boulder for days and then had to hack off my arm with a pocket knife I’d be wanting a serious drink when I got home. I’m thinking French champagne and the 2000 Dom Pérignon ($210.79 - $219.95) in particular. It’s got lots of muscle and you can open it with one hand.
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Peter Rockwell is the everyman’s wine writer, working in the liquor industry for more than 25 years and travelling the globe looking for something to fill his glass and put into words.