With a $50 burgundy, some ice and three great actors at the table, a good script can become a still life full of nuances. You can see it in Julia, whose characters are almost as delicious as the French cuisine recipes and the wines that always accompany them. In the first season of this series, which can be seen on HBO, Julia and Paul Child (Sarah Lancashire and David Hyde Pierce) eat well and drink better, presumably just as foodies as the real characters were.
Throughout the eight chapters they drink Riesling, Chablis, Sherry, Burgundy, Sauternes, Champagne and even a Sonoma red to accompany some of the dishes with which Julia Child conquered millions of American homes since the 1960s. all the series in which wine is present, and there are many, is one of the few that introduces it into the plot with the sole excuse that its protagonists enjoy it and give it the same importance as crêpes suzette.
The vineyard was just an excuse for the characters to argue, sleep, call each other names, and pull each other's hair out, because Falcon Crest had chain scares, but few scares had anything to do with viticulture. His nine seasons of gunshots, fires, explosions, plane crashes and even earthquakes not only served to make Lorenzo Lamas look like palmetto on horseback pretending he came from the vineyards. Also so that really flashy stars paraded there, such as Mel Ferrer, Lana Turner, Rod Taylor, Kim Novak or Gina Lollobrigida, as well as a Jane Wyman who, at least in Spain, became better known for her Angela Channing than for her earlier film career and her marriage to Ronald Reagan. For the Spanish public, who in the 1980s got used to drinking coffee with the header composed by Bill Conti, it was also the discovery of grape varieties not so well known to ordinary consumers, who began to think that ordering a Cabernet Sauvignon was the best of the best and even better than the varieties that were traditionally grown in Spain.
Tuscany Valley was actually Napa Valley in California, but the Channings and Giobertis bear little resemblance to the Kings, the protagonists of Kings of Napa (HBO), an updated version of Falcon Crest in which they also there are infidelities, blackmail and an attempt to make a dessert wine in... half a year, really? The North American network ABC has also premiered Promised Land this year, with the Sonoma Valley as the setting and a Latin family that owns a winery as the protagonist. In Spain there have also been attempts to combine vineyards and family estates, such as Gran Reserva. And for the Alcántaras, in Cuéntame how it happened, the winery has given them more trouble than joy.
One of the best "It's Wine O'Clock" on TV is scored by Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) in The Good Wife, in a scene where she stares at her kitchen clock —and the viewer doesn't know why. what—until it strikes six and then yes, he proceeds to open a bottle. The lawyer often drinks wine, but she's not the only main character in a series to do so. In fact, there are quite a few, and wine seems to be a girly thing: Olivia Pope's (Kerry Washington) favorite menu at Scandal is a glass of red and some popcorn; spy Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) doesn't care about red or white in Homeland and in Game of Thrones, Cersei Lannister (Lena Heady) drowns out her bitterness by asking them to put more wine in her glass. Elegant Rose Weissman (Marin Hinke) can't live without her little bottle of sherry in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
The sergeant who plays Mónica López in Rapa always has a bottle of, we assume, Galician wine on her table. The protagonists of The Bold Type tell each other their sorrows while opening a white and in Big Little Lies, Madeline Mackenzie (Reese Witherspoon) often has a wine ready in her wonderful open kitchen overlooking Monterey Bay. Another thing is the British aristocrats —and their butlers— in the Julian Fellows series, who seem to have a special fondness for Bordeaux (Margaux can always be trusted, says Mr. Carson in Downton Abbey) and Sherry. And if a servant gets out of jail after being accused—wrongly, of course—of a crime, they bring out their stashed bottles of La Veuve Clicquot, for celebrating with champagne, properly.
If a man sneaks (twice) into Buckingham Palace and, on his first foray, swipes a bottle of wine and takes half, one imagines an exclusive bottle but no: in The Crown, Michael Fagan grabs a Vache Johannisberg Riesling, priced at six pounds, Elizabeth II's secretary later reported to the monarch. The anecdote may have undergone some modification in its television adaptation, but apparently it does have similarities with what actually happened with Fagan and a bottle of white wine.
What does seem expensive, and in fact gives rise to several hilarious and awkward moments of the Succession brand, is the wedding wine with which the first season of this series ends. It's the macguffin throughout the episode, who perfectly draws the line between classes: those who know what the wine cost and need to say so, and the Roys, whose way of showing off is precisely not to show off at all. Certain wines can also signify status and power and, perhaps for this reason, among the symbols that appear in the masthead of The Good Fight is a bottle of what looks like a very expensive burgundy. And all these objects explode, in an obvious statement of intent.