This year is the 70th edition of the Festival de Cannes. The Festival was first planned for September 1939, under the presidency of Louis Lumière, but was cancelled as war loomed. Instead, the first Festival took place in 1946, missing only one year since then.
Champagne features in numerous films epitomising the high life, from Hitchcock’s 1928 film Champagne to James Bond, seen drinking champagne, including Bollinger and Dom Perignon, in at least 22 of the films. Moët & Chandon also has its own short-film festival for films featuring champagne. So, put a bottle of your favourite champagne on ice and sit back and relax…
Sun, sea and rosé conjure up the Mediterranean and Hollywood dream. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie had, for several years, made rosé wine at their Miraval estate, which they first discovered as a place to stay during the Festival. For an extra film connection, head for St Tropez, the fishing village made famous by Brigitte Bardot in the film And God Created Woman (1956) and try a fresh, fruity rosé from Maison Angelvin. Jacques Angelvin, a TV personality in the early 1960s, inspired the plot of the 1971 film The French Connection!
The brothers, Louis and Auguste Lumière, were amongst the first cinematographers, in the late 19th century, filming in the village of Cassis, east of Marseille. Their cinema, the Eden Theatre, is still in working order. Watch an early black and white film or the 1970 gangster film Borsalino, partly set on local wine estate, Clos Ste Magdeline, and sip on their Bel-Arme white wine with its fine saline acidity and creamy, ripe fruit, reflecting the vineyards location on seaside cliffs.
The influence of films on wine can never be underestimated. In the American film Sideways (2004), one of the characters dismisses Merlot in favour of Pinot Noir and sales of Merlot wines plummeted. Try a bit of wine judging yourself with a rich and luscious plummy Merlot-based wine such as Chateau Laroque, Grand Cru Emilion in Bordeaux against an elegant Pinot Noir from Burgundy, such as Cuvée St Urbain Domaine Jean Fournier in Marsannay.
This year’s film festival, under the presidency of Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar, runs from 17-28 May 2017.
This article was written for Bespoke Yacht Charter by Elizabeth Gabay MW – A long-time lover of the wines of southern France, and based in the hills behind Nice, Elizabeth is currently immersed in all things rosé for a forthcoming book on pink wines around the world. Other passions are the wines of Hungary, the Mediterranean, unusual grape varieties and history. She writes about for various journals and websites, including her own – www.elizabethgabay.com