Marlon Brando, The Godfather and Wine
From Lisa Shea ,
Chianti and Homemade
The Godfather is a classic in motion picture history, with characters of great depth and authenticity. It's no surprise that wine was a part of this Italian world.
For Italians, wine was a normal, every day part of life. In the opening sequence, the Don's daughter is getting married. This is a fun, family affair, and large pitchers of wine are passed around, poured into regular water glasses. Paulie calls out, "Gimme some wine!" and he's passed a wine punch complete with orange slices in a big, plastic pitcher. Wine wasn't pretentious, it was fun and good for you too.
Tom, the lawyer, heads out to the West Coast to talk about a sticky problem. The producer has a mansion (and a yacht, most likely) and has spent millions of dollars on race horses. He pours out an unnamed red wine from a decanter, which Tom enjoys.
One blooper you can see here is how Tom's glass goes from full to empty very quickly. Apparently Tom enjoyed this wine a lot!
When Mike's being taught how to make proper Italian food, one step is of course to "add a little wine" into the sauce - apparently homemade red wine from a big jug.
Mike has to go for the actual bottled stuff when having in-room hotel dining with Kay, but it's served sideways out of a basket. That's pretty silly, actually. The reason you would serve a wine reclining in a basket is to minimize the sediment from an old wine getting into your glass. But if this wine was carried by a waiter from the cellars to the room, it's hardly likely that the sediment is still separate from the wine.
In the famous restaurant scene, it appears to be a "Julian Table Wine" that is being poured. The bottle has a tan label with a red seal. The wine doesn't go well with the blood that is soon flowing.
Off Mike goes to Italy where a TON of homemade red wine is poured out from unlabelled bottles. There are multiple bottles present at just about every gathering that occurs. They do also have big, saucer glases of Champagne which were a short-lived, bad idea that lets the sparkling wine go flat very quickly.
In one of the final scenes, when Mike is talking with his father, they are sharing in a glass of wine. The Don says, "I like to drink wine more than I used to ..." and Mike reassures him, "It's good for you, pop." After a long, difficult life, those homemade red wines can bring quiet to a peaceful day in the sun.
Buy or rent this classic DVD and remember why the performances were so powerful. Be sure to pour yourself a glass of Chianti or Amarone to go with it!
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