Fifty Shades of Wine

50corks
image courtesy of catchmyparty.com

I am always amused at the hype around The Fifty Shades trilogy. Yes, they’re not the best written books ever, but at face value, it’s just a chick-lit story about a screwed up billionaire who just hasn’t met the right girl to fix him. In steps Little Miss Innocent Steel to teach him about how normal people have fun and in return, he teaches her about ‘life’ beyond university, working in a hardware store and, I notice, how to get drunk on more sophisticated booze.

Call me old fashioned, but I think there are easier ways to move on from cheap Aussie Chardonnay-Semillon or Jager-bombs rather than being stalked and whipped, no matter how many helicopter rides and bottles of vintage Bolly are involved. Mr Grey, you might be very eligible on paper, but I’m sure that Edward Lewis (Richard Gere) in Pretty Woman would be much more gallant in helping to improve a girl’s palate.

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image courtesy of youtube

So what, beyond the Red Room, was Christian seducing Anastasia with wine-wise? Now, I would’ve had C.G down as a Burgundy or Northern Rhone kinda guy or why not those excellent wines from his home state of Washington? But it appears that his drinking habits may have been based on those very tastes of the author herself, EL James. Yes, Pouilly Fume is a fabulous place to start for the Sauvignon Blanc fan of any discerning wine taste, but Pinot Grigio? Really? Prosecco? I am surprised. Chablis? Well I suppose so, but surely that a fancy-pants like Christian would be more likely to go for a nice Cotes du Beaune, if not Meursault, perhaps a tasty little Puligny-Montrachet to tickle Ana’s fancy – after all, I doubt the guy is ordering from the Seattle’s version of Bargain Booze. Also, so little red – but I suppose it’s easier to get white wine out of the sheets.

Interestingly, EL James has gone to the trouble of letting us know the precise, albeit a little vague, wines that were drunk throughout the books, which I salute. I note, with fondness, that by the second book, she seems to have done a little bit more homework with the delights of more red wines in the form of a Chateauneuf-du-Pape and a Barossa Shiraz coming in to play (or perhaps they were eating more red meat), but by the third book, it appears that she’d gone to sleep. I imagine by this point, she was a little distracted perhaps putting together the official ‘Fifty Shades Wine‘ online store, selling a couple of  Californian bottles of red and white, which I’d love to know if they are any good or not, proving that EL James really is, quite rightly, making hay while the sun shines might be interested in wine.

Love them or hate the trilogy, if you’re still intrigued and want to woo your new girlfriend/ be seduced in the style of Christian Grey, I don’t sell Bollinger, or Pinot Grigio, or cable ties for that matter, but if I was to put a Mr Grey tasting box together, it would look a little like the following rather marvellous selection of wines (which you can order here quoting ‘Mr Grey’), all for less than £90 and a whole lot less disappointing and plenty more lingering on the finish than the first book/film:

2x Domaine Chauveau Pouilly Fume – a very classic and delicious PF. Perfect to impress the girl and a great match with ‘Chorizo and Scallops’.
2x Chateau Vitallis Macon Fuisse – “It’s been nice knowing you” or if belly button is off the menu, also works with Chicken Caesar Salad.
1x Bluebell Vineyard Estates Brut Rosé – Scrap the first edition Hardy’s, send in the Riedel, tea cups simply won’t do.
1x Alvaro Castro Dao Tinto – not too heavy for the white wine preferrer but hard enough for Beef Wellington.

I never liked Cosmopolitans anyway. 🙂