Harry Potter and the Goblet of Wine
The Harry Potter movies may not be released in cinemas this year, but that does not mean one can’t have HP movie marathons at home. And what could be better than watching your favourite characters with wines specially curated for the iconic elements of Hogwarts!
Let me, the Sorting Hat Sommelier, help you experience these incredible films in a whole new magical way by pairing wine to different houses as well as the three main characters!
All prices quoted are the average price for the wine which one can find at a myriad of online retailers.
Traits: Secretive, Ambitious, Cunning, Resourcefulness
Wine: Anthony Girard ‘L’Indiscrete’ Sancere Blanc, Loire, 2022 £28.00
Taste: This Sauvignon Blanc exudes vivid aromas of lemon complete with green apple bite, subtle mineral notes and a long elegant finish.
Why: Sauvignon Blanc comes from the French word ‘sauvage’ which can be translated as ‘savage’ and therefore refer to Sauvignon’s characteristic acidic bite! Something which Slytherin members can also be associated with. The gold padlock on the label reflects Slytherin’s secretive nature whilst the green background refers to Slytherin’s classic reptile-like house colours. The Sauvignon grape is also recognizable by its greenish hue in colour!
Alternatives: Any grape with vibrant acidity ie Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Picpoul. Or you could focus on the fact that Slytherin has a reputation for dark wizards, and therefore could choose wines that are inky dark in colour and have intense dark fruit i.e. Aussie Shiraz, Petite Sirah or opulent Cabernets.
Traits: Brave, Bold, Noble, Daring
Wine: Plantagenet, Three Lions Chardonnay, Western Australia, 2021 £16.00
Taste: Aromas of ripe stone fruit, including white peach and nectarine, mingled with lifted notes of sweet cashew nut.
Why: For Harry Potter’s own house, I had to choose a Chardonnay – which is known as King of the white grapes – being produced in most countries around the world as well as producing some of the most expensive wines globally. This golden Chardonnay, with the three lions on the label, reflects the golden lion on the Gryffindor shield and the courage which this house is known for. The Plantagenet winery is the oldest established winery in Great Southern Australia – and the Three Lion coat of arms of the Plantagenet dynasty, symbolizes quality and prestige as well as a code of conduct and values. A sentiment which Gryffindor also wishes to instill in its culture.
Alternatives: Other Chardonnays. Bold golden coloured wines which are made using daring biodynamic pratices. Or even an orange wine for Ron?!
Traits: Experimental, Nerdy, Collaborative, Creative
Wine: As Ladieras’ Catalyaud Garnacha, Cuevas de Aroma, Spain £25.00
Taste: A bright, red fruit profile, with lifted notes of red cherry and wild herbs such as bay, rosemary and lavender.
Why: Cuevas de Arom is a new project led by Master of Wine Fernando More and Mario Lopez, based in Catalyud. Their aim is to redefine the style of the region and produce an elegant and fresh expression of Garnacha – unlike any other Garnacha in Spain. Their experimental and creative thinking, plus that fact that there is a nerdy Master of Wine, behind the project immediately makes one think of Ravenclaw’s intelligence and wit. It’s also a favourite of famous Master of Wine, Jancis Robinson!
Alternative: Any winemaker who breaks appellation rules or uses ancient or cutting edge innovative winemaking techniques!
Traits: Hard Work, Inclusive, Caring, Justlce
Wine: Mullineux Signature, Old Vine White Blend, Swartland, South Africa 2022 £27.00
Taste: Aromas of fresh peach, poached pears, orange blossom and dried honey. Fresh and richly textured, with notes of almond, yellow grapefruit and ginger.
Why: The winemakers behind this wine have one of the top love stories in the wine world. American Andrea met South African Chris Mullineux on a train to Champagne. Together, through hard work and their long term vision, they have created one of South Africa’s most respected wine brands. In 2020 they created Great Heart Wines which makes the vineyard workers and the winery team 100% owners of the winery and they benefit directly from profits of sales. This emphasis on loyalty, hard work and inclusivity sounds right up Hufflepuff’s street!
Alternative: Any winery which makes sustainability a focal point or producers which aren’t so widely recognized… yet!
Characteristics: Epitome of goodness, has experienced tragedy and bad judgement, wise, stately.
Wine: Le Cabanon Viognier, Maison Les Alexandrins, Northern Rhone 2022 £14.00
Taste: Complexity and richness of honeyed and ripe stone fruit aromas, the quality of the fruit ensures an incredibly long finish.
Why: ‘Albus’ means white and ‘Dumbledore’ is an archaic word for bumblebee which immediately made me think of a white grape which smells like honeysuckle – VIOGNIER! Viognier, like Dumbledore, also has a checkered history. Its homeland is the Northern Rhone where it almost became extinct due to everyone valuing Syrah. It took producers from the New World to show the French what an incredible grape it is and now it is one of the most popular grapes in the world. Dumbledore, after a few false starts, is now appreciated everywhere and has achieved his well deserved iconic status.
Alternative: Any expression of Viognier, Sauternes – a golden, honey smelling dessert wine which lives for many decades…
Characteristics: Complex, Powerful, nearly immortal, Evil
Wine: NV 20 Year Old Tawny Port, Sandeman, Douro £40.00
Taste: Aromas of dried fruits, honey and roasted nuts combine with spicy notes of vanilla and cinnamon.
Why: His relentless pursuit of immortality is what initially inspired this wine recommendation of Port. Powerful, intense, Port often carries an alcohol content around 18% abv which allows them to be aged for enormous amounts of time without spoiling – almost immortal. Also, Port comes from one of the oldest appellations in the world ( Douro) which ties into Voldemort’s admiration for heritage. The cloak clad figure – the icon for Sandeman – casts an equally menacing and cunning vision. I chose Tawny port though, for as well as being delicious, it doesn’t tend to age as long as Vintage Port, which refers to the hope that Voldemort will not achieve the life long reign of terror he desires!
Alternative: Port, Madeira – once opened this liquid can still last at least 50 years!
Characteristics: He is a hybrid – being both muggle and wizard, brave, pioneer, heritage in old world but forging on into the new.
Wine: Clonakilla Shiraz/ Viognier, Canberra District, Australia 2019 £85.00
Taste: A deeply aromatic wine with generous aromas of ripe red berries, roses, violets and layers of spice. It is restrained yet powerful!
Why: Clonakilla is one of the leading estates in Australia with an enviable reputation for making the Shiraz/ Viognier. This blending of the white and red grape was traditionally associated with the Northern Rhone, but the Kirk family were pioneers and in Jancis Robinson’s words, “Clonakilla’s subtle Viognier influenced Shiraz almost single handedly turned round the Aussie Shiraz super tanker’. An iconic, pioneering wine producer who used inspiration from the old world to forge ahead in the New World, seems apt to pair with Harry who has a similar trajectory. The red and white grape blend works well with his own mixed familial blood and the inclusion of the Viognier grape highlights his association with Dumbledore and that he will be carrying on with Dumbledore’s mission of goodness. This wine blend was also created in the 1990’s like the Harry Potter series… but a few years earlier. Clonakilla’s shiraz blend was created in 1992 whereas Harry Potter came into being in 1997.
Alternatives: Any Shiraz/ Viognier blend, Malbec – it’s strong, robust, had roots in the old world but is forging a new path for itself in the New World.