Wine, popcorn, and tissues… The Man Who Cried.

A story of a young, female refugee travels from Russia to England, to Paris, to America in search of her lost father the lessons of lost loves in the process are bitter sweet..

The Man Who Cried is a 2000 Anglo-French film, written and directed by Sally Potter. The film stars Christina Ricci, Cate Blanchett, Johnny Depp, Harry Dean Stanton, and John Turturro.

I’ve taken to tasting wine on Sunday afternoons, when I can try put a busy week behind me, get some forward work done (tasting wine assignments), and eat a few snacks in the process. This has evolved into what I consider “putting my feet up.” I choose a film that I think is going to be interesting, then bring out the wines from the week that have an assignment attached to them, and have a few snacks that will make the process more enjoyable.

FILM: The Man Who Cried


  • 2013  River Road Chardonnay, Mills Cuvee, Green Valley of Russian River Valley, Sonoma County
  • 2013 River Road Pinot Noir, Sonoma County
  • 2013 River Road Pinot Noir, Stephanie’s Cuvee, Green Valley of Russian River Valley, Sonoma County
  • 2013 Old Vine Zinfandel, Boschetti Vineyard, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County


  • Raw pecans
  • Toblerone chocolate

Someone who has felt the anguish of being separated from young children, for any length of time, had better get out your handkerchief that Nana left for you to have. The wines and snacks were part of the process, as I watched a movie set into the days of the emerging Holocaust, placed in Russia, England, Paris, and finally in the US. The wines that I tasted were as delicious and complex as the movie was, so it was a great pairing, as well as a remarkable movie. Remarkable because it captures so many of the emotions without any words being spoken. A movie intended for those of a gentle spirit, don’t expect a Hollywood production of blow ’em up or shoot ’em up. This story is about the dangerous life during a time of great oppression and world peril, and the desire to come to the new world as love conquers all.

Any wonderful story deserves equally wonderful wines, and so I got to work…


  • 2013  River Road Chardonnay, Mills Cuvee, Green Valley of Russian River Valley, Sonoma County
    • What the wine presented – A golden hue with real clarity, this wine is a rich and zesty temptress, full of complex characteristics. Mediterranean notes dominate with stone fruit flavors of peach and apricot, finishing with butterscotch smoothness. Grown in Green Valley of Russian River Valley, a region also known for its apple growing capabilities, this wine definitely falls into a parallel with golden delicious’ mellow, yet distinctive, flavors.
      • This wine will pair well with cooked shellfish like crab and prawns. It will also work well with grilled fish, chicken or vegetable soups, as well as risotto dishes with spring vegetables.
    • Who the wine represented – Cate Blanchett as Lola
  • 2013 River Road Pinot Noir, Sonoma County
    • What the wine presented – Light ruby in color, delicate in lovely aromatics on the nose of strawberry and violets, this wine demonstrated its youthfulness on your palate as well. This was followed by the same soft and supple finish. The wine also spoke of the strength it would gain in its future, with a bit of independent maturity.
      • I’d pair this one with a lovely French Onion soup or a brie cheese.
      • The wine is definitely well suited to cheese dishes, including a Margarita pizza.
    • Who the wine represented – Claudia Lander-Duke as young Suzie
  • 2013 River Road Pinot Noir, Stephanie’s Cuvee, Green Valley of Russian River Valley, Sonoma County
    • What the wine presented – This Pinot has a bit more depth than the one above. However, it’s sill not as rich as compared to other Russian River Valley Pinots, for my palate; as a blessing, not a curse. Years ago, I loved Russian River Valley Pinot Noirs, because they represented a delicate red wine for me, so food friendly that I didn’t even have to think about them. Then, they took the dark corner of pleasing wine reviewer palates, who wanted more of everything… More depth, more power, more tannins… Cheating Pinot, I believe, of being its true self of being a gentle, delicate, food friendly wine. (Some winemakers even add a bit of Petite Sirah to their blends… Good for them, bad for those of us who aren’t wine critics giving high scores for ball crushing Pinot Noirs.) It appears to me that winemakers who derive great pleasure from working with Pinot Noirs also derive great pleasure from life itself… Having great depth and work hard to leave a gentle footprint in life. These are the winemakers who craft what I know will please my palate. Joe Freeman made all of these wines, and I continue to be impressed with how his life’s philosophies segue right into his wines.  Aromas and flavors of juicy plums and red raspberries are the hallmark of this wine… Deeper than the one above, but not overpowering or lacking its original self of hanging on the vine.  The finish was as soft as an Asian carpet texture on its finish.
      • The earth tones of this wine make it well suited to mushroom dishes, as well as Peking Duck, and beef tenderloin.
    • Who the wine represented – Christina Ricci as the adult Suzie
  • 2013 Old Vine Zinfandel, Boschetti Vineyard, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County
    • What the wine presented – Zinfandels are youthful and handsome wines, most especially in the hands of a Pinot Noir winemaker. These devoted winemakers tend to be kind and gentle with their craft, creating food friendly, full of pleasant flavors wines. They bring out the best in us, without taking over the stage. True to character, this Zinfandel has delicious flavors of freshly picked, wild blackberries and Bing cherries on the nose and then again on the palate. The finish was enduring, but not overpowering.
      • Foods that would pair well with this wine are aperitifs, light cheeses, and lamb with spicy fruit-based sauces.

Studying the characters of this film, while tasting these wines, allowed me to not only identify the person who best fit the role, but it also had me pay attention to the wines in ways I wouldn’t have accomplished in a blind tasting. I prefer to use all of my sensing when encountering wines. I can best relate and even equate the wines, linking with more paths for memory as well.

Give it a try and get back to me. I know you’ll have fun with it, too. As it turns out, my work quickly turns into pleasure; and movies turn into real adventures.