Like most of the world we are watching and enjoying the HBO Max-series “The Last of Us”. It truly is wonderful TV and especially episode three, which rightly has been lauded as one of the best episodes of TV ever made, regardless of genre. The story of Frank and Bill and how they survive, live and love in a world gone, quite literally, to fungus filled hell was something to behold, and an hour of TV-perfection. Eagle-eyed wine lovers will, however, have spotted a tiny and forgivable flaw in the episode - the wine served at the first and last meal. We’ll serve that wine as this week's wine recommendation and comment on why it might not have been as good as the TV show says.
The wine that Bill serves Frank is a Beaujolais-Villages from Louis Jadot. Jadot is a well known and popular producer here in Norway and you can find both red and white wines from all over the Burgundy valley - from Chablis in the north to Beaujolaise in the south and ranging in price starting at 3000,- for the Bonnes Mares Grand Cru and going steadily down to our wine of the week, the Beaujolais-Village, that clocks in at a very nice 189,90. Most of you will know the Beaujolais wines from the very overrated Beaujolais Nouveau that “arrives” every November. This overpriced and under-developed wine is probably my least favourite wine no matter what. One of the reasons I loathe it so much is because of the knowledge that if they had just let the wine rest for a few months, or even a year, the wine would have become so much better. Instead they have to rush it to the shops before it is finished, leaving us with a sub par wine. Anoying! Because Beaujolais wine can be beautiful,if they are given just a little time. Not much, this is wine that is meant to be drunk young, but give it at least a year!
And that's where the makers of “The Last of Us” have gotten their timing a little bit wrong in that great episode. In the show the world goes to hell in 2003 and Frank lands in Bills trap in 2007. So the last vintage of Beaujolais that would have gotten to the US is the 2002 (not the best vintage, but that’s another story …) Typically, the Beaujolais-Villages are some of the easiest and first accessible wines from the region, meant to be drunk within a few years, but they might hold five years, so it is not unrealistic that Bill will get out the 02 vintage from Jadot to impress Frank. And it probably will be good, although probably on it’s way down already. Anyway, I don't think either Frank nor Bill will care much about that at that moment as they were clearly falling in love and Frank was just happy to drink wine again …
As the episode progresses we see them having a relatively normal life, as normal as you can in the post apocalyptic world. 20 years pass and unfortunately Frank becomes ill and in the final scene they share a meal together for the last time. Bill serves the same meal as he did the first time they met, with the same wine of course. For storytelling purposes it is a beautiful moment and great TV. But as a wine person I can’t help to think that neither of them would have enjoyed that wine, as it most certainly would have been closer to vinegar than wine. How important is this when making great TV, you ask? Not important at all and I do understand and see the beauty of seeing them eat the same meal for their last meal. Great storytelling will (and should!) always trump wine snobbery!
So, a little late for Valentine's day unfortunately, but still, this week's wine is great to share with someone you love!
Louis Jadot Beaujolais Villages 2021 . 189,90 kr
Dark red, almost purple in colour. Fine nose, with blackberry, strawberry and hints of cherry. It sit very well in the mouth and is very rich and full. Very jucy with red berries dominating. Just a very good wine!
To not pair this with rabbit will forever be a shame from now on …