Big news this week about Disney buying up Lucasfilm and with it the Star Wars franchise. You might know that George is in the wine game with his Skywalker Vineyards, but as we wait for Star Wars on Ice and a slew of new Disneyfied Jedi flicks to hit the theaters over the next Millennia or three, I ponder what wine would a Jedi drink?
One’s Force-sensitive mind can first turn only to the the Jedi High Council. When these academic space knights ponder the balance of good and evil in the universe in their ancient kick-ass wisdom, wine must the best thinking man’s companion. Hidden deep under their palace must be wine cellars built during the glory days of the old Republic, stocked row upon row with liquid more elevated than some high-yield, Australian plonk or, even more unlikely, yet another clone varietal approved by the mess of an Imperial Senate. I mean, can you picture Sam L Jackson downing a Two Buck Chuck before dispensing with yet more of Palpatine’s droid lackeys?
But of them, Yoda, the gnarliest of them all, would surely go for something even more old world. Perhaps an old vines red that personifies a terroir of suffering and rigor, from a long-forgotten stone-rimmed clos, of vines that have railed quietly against the vile elements and poxes of phylloxera and its ilk. A Mourvedre from Bandol or Chile’s forgotten Old Vine Cariganane.
With the skywalking Luke himself most likely going Romney on us (though if you find him in a bar at some grimy spaceport, he’d assure you he’s drinking a Sardinian Cannonau, because to a young swashbuckling whose adrenalin is laced with too many midi-chlorians, Cannoanau sounds like a cool thing to drink) and Darth Maul surely preferring over the top fruit-bombed oak monsters of country clubbing Cali cab cults, a wine geek can only turn to Darth Vader for a finer palate. If our first true Sith love were ever to touch down on our fair little planet without going all Alderaan on us, I’d dare to think he’s a Bordeaux man, willing to wait out the years and trilogies and coax out the best from a tight, young Pomerol that with time he would uncork on us as a mean, aged menace of a Merlot.
With the Siths accounted for, I think, we turn our eyes to the greybeard who got the ball rolling so many years ago – Obi-Wan. Luke only knew Ben Kenobi as a recluse hermit before galavanting to the Death Star with him on the old coot’s journey to suicidal elevation. And what would a lonely old hermit (with unnaturally neatly cropped beard, mind you) sip on as he waits for his death duel? Pondering your destiny at the wrong end of a Sith lord’s laser sword calls for nothing other than the distraction of a complex Viognier white wine from Condrieu, that windswept godliness of steep hillsides in France’s Rhone valley.
Oh wait… oh dear… I’m feeling that all too familiar tingle of the beginnings of a force choke hold (or is that my peanut allergy acting up? Damn you, Halloween candy). The Emperor – that wily rascal – mind-blocked me. But as my wife knows, I can’t resist the lure of the dark side and all the swill it has to offer, and the Emperor can’t keep my prying eyes from his stash. And if Vader’s drinking a Petrus worth a couple grand, the Emperor won’t be outdone and has had his minions scanning star systems far and wide for starship wrecks to enjoy outrageously priced Chateau Lafites of bygone centuries. And trust me, if it’s gone all vinegar on him, he’s so puckered up already, you won’t know it. Be warned, though, that if you’re stuck in a room with Palpatine, he’s gonna draw comparisons between the eventual domination of the wine world by Lafite and its mighty Bordeaux ilk and his own eventual domination of the galaxy. In this case, walk away. Just walk away.
And so we have come to the end of our journey to a galaxy of wine long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away. May the force be with you and your sipping habits, and remember, when shopping for that Thanksgiving wine for dinner at the in-laws and you’re in the store by the animal logo wines, it’s good to remember that fateful line from the assault of the first Death Star, “Stay on target, stay on target” and head for something more, shall we say, Force-sensitive. If not, well, she might have this in mind…