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Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark & Rioja

It's time for a new Indiana Jones movie! I'm not too worried. (Voice rises in pitch because I'm lying.) Whatever, after Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, this franchise can only improve.

I want to be optimistic, so for "Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark," let's go with a wine that improves with time, a Rioja, like La Rioja Alta's Viña Ardanza Reserva.

The Movie

"Raiders of the Lost Ark," directed by Steven Spielberg and co-written by George Lucas, is a thrilling ode to 1930s adventure serials that brought us one of cinema's most iconic heroes: Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford). Jones, an archaeologist and adventurer, embarks on a globe-trotting quest to locate the fabled Ark of the Covenant before it falls into the hands of the Nazis.

The film is an impeccable blend of action, adventure, and humor. Its opening sequence in a booby-trapped Peruvian temple sets the tone, demonstrating Indiana Jones's courage, resourcefulness, and a touch of recklessness. From there, the film takes viewers on an exhilarating journey filled with thrilling chase sequences, narrow escapes, and a healthy dose of supernatural intrigue.

Harrison Ford's performance is central to the film's success. His portrayal of Indiana Jones is charismatic and captivating, embodying a character who is equal parts intellectual and action hero.

Spielberg's direction shines, delivering a film that is both an homage to the adventure serials he loved as a child. The pacing is superb, expertly balancing high-octane action scenes with quieter moments of character development and plot progression.

Like many classics, the film is a product of its time and parts may offput contemporary audiences. Non-Western cultures and their members are usually depicted as exotic, superstitious, villainous, or some horrific combination thereof. And then there's the women. Jones' love interest, Marion (Karen Allen) is a frequent damsel in distress with little agency of her own. Women are people too but Lucas never got that memo and Spielberg's record is pretty spotty too.

The Wine

La Rioja Alta is one of the most respected wineries in the Rioja region, known for producing traditional style wines with great aging potential. The Viña Ardanza Reserva is a blend of Tempranillo and Garnacha, offering a rich and complex profile.

The palate is rich and full-bodied, reflecting the wine's mature character. Flavors of ripe cherries, plums, and blackberries dominate, complemented by notes of vanilla, cinnamon, and licorice. The wine is well-structured with firm, yet ripe tannins and a balanced acidity that adds freshness to the profile.

Why They Pair Well

Just as Indiana Jones navigates complex plots and layers of history, La Rioja Alta Viña Ardanza Reserva is a wine with depth and complexity that evolves over time, its character deepening and becoming more nuanced with age.

"Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark" is an exciting, globe-trotting adventure. This pairs well with the adventurous spirit of Spanish wine making and the spicy notes often found in the Viña Ardanza Reserva, reminiscent of the excitement and dynamism of Indiana Jones' quests.

Both "Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark" and La Rioja Alta Viña Ardanza Reserva have legacies that have stood the test of time - the film as a beloved classic in the adventure genre, and the wine as a benchmark of quality in Rioja.

What wine would you pair with "Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark?"

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