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Crazy Rich Asians & Rhône Viognier

Given its setting, you could pair "Crazy Rich Asians" with a Singapore Sling, but that might be too on the nose. Instead, you should sip a Rhône Viognier, like E. Guigal's Condrieu La Doriane.

The Movie

"Crazy Rich Asians," directed by Jon M. Chu and based on Kevin Kwan's best-selling novel, is more than just another romantic comedy. It became a cultural phenomenon, serving as a watershed moment for Asian representation in mainstream Hollywood cinema.

At its heart, the film tells a classic love story: Rachel Chu (Constance Wu), an NYU economics professor, travels with her boyfriend Nick Young (Henry Golding) to Singapore to attend his best friend's wedding and meet his family. Unbeknownst to Rachel, Nick hails from one of the wealthiest families in Asia. As she navigates this world of opulence and tradition, she faces challenges, rivalries, and cultural clashes, especially with Nick's formidable mother, Eleanor (Michelle Yeoh).

The strength of "Crazy Rich Asians" lies in its meticulous balancing act. It's simultaneously a celebration of wealth and glamour, as seen through lavish parties and designer wardrobes, and a sincere exploration of family, identity, and cultural values. The film deftly touches upon themes of tradition vs. modernity, diasporic identity, and the weight of familial expectations.

The ensemble cast is exceptional. Constance Wu's portrayal of Rachel is both endearing and resilient, while Henry Golding brings charm and depth to the role of Nick. However, it's arguably Michelle Yeoh's nuanced performance as Eleanor that steals the show, expertly portraying a character who could have easily been a one-dimensional antagonist.

The film also excels in its celebration of Asian culture. From mouth-watering food montages to the depiction of traditional customs, the film provides viewers a vibrant look into a world less often showcased in mainstream Western films.

The Wine

E. Guigal is a renowned producer in the Rhône Valley, known for creating some of the region's most iconic wines. The Condrieu La Doriane is one of their flagship white wines, made entirely from the Viognier grape.

Oh, by the way, a bottle will likely set you back about $125. The title of the movie is "Crazy Rich Asians," what price point did you expect?

The wine's brilliant golden hue alone reflects its rich and opulent character. On the nose, La Doriane presents a fragrant bouquet of white flowers, apricot, peach, and hints of tropical fruits. There's often an overlay of subtle vanilla and toast notes, indicating the influence of oak aging.

On the palate, this wine is full-bodied and lusciously textured, reflecting the character of the Viognier grape. The stone fruits from the nose mix with hints of honey and spices. The wine possesses a balanced acidity that provides freshness and liveliness amidst its richness.

Overall, E. Guigal Condrieu La Doriane is a luxurious and hedonistic wine that beautifully showcases the potential of the Viognier grape when grown in the terroir of Condrieu.

Why They Pair Well

Just as "Crazy Rich Asians" dives into the opulent and prestigious world of Singapore's elite, the E. Guigal Condrieu La Doriane hails from a region and winemaker that are considered among the pinnacle of Viognier production. The film beautifully captures the rich cultural tapestry of Singapore, blending both traditional Asian elements and modern extravagance. Similarly, the Condrieu appellation has a storied history, representing the pinnacle of Viognier and showcasing the tradition and expertise of the Rhône Valley.

Both the movie and the wine offer complexity. "Crazy Rich Asians" navigates intricate family dynamics, cultural expectations, and love, while E. Guigal Condrieu La Doriane is renowned for its deep flavors and evolving aromatic profile.

"Crazy Rich Asians" is a visual and emotional feast, with its lush settings, opulent parties, and colorful fashion. Likewise, E. Guigal Condrieu La Doriane provides a sensory delight with its aromatic intensity and luxurious palate.

By Eddie Beeby


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