There aren't enough tragicomedies out there, like "Little Miss Sunshine," and I don't understand why. What does everyone else do when they're sad, cry? No, thank you, laughing at dumpster fires is way more fun.
If "Little Miss Sunshine" were a wine, it would be a bright and uplifting Albariño from Rias Baixas, Spain, like Bagoa do Mino.
Directed by husband-wife team Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, the film follows the Hoover family on a cross-country trip to the "Little Miss Sunshine" beauty pageant. The family's youngest, Olive Hoover (Abigail Breslin), dreams of winning the pageant and her somewhat dysfunctional family tags along for the ride in a Volkswagen Microbus. The other Hoovers include her overworked mother Sheryl (Toni Collette), motivational speaker father Richard (Greg Kinnear), silent brother Dwayne (Paul Dano), suicidal uncle Frank (Steve Carell), and heroin-snorting grandfather Edwin (Alan Arkin, who also wrote the screenplay). Nearly everyone in the bus suffers a crushing disappointment at some point during the journey, but at least they have each other to fall back on. "Little Miss Sunshine" is a poignant exploration of family, dreams, and how we bounce back from defeat.
Produced with only an $8 million budget, the movie fared far better than its characters. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and Fox Searchlight bought its distribution rights in one of the festival's biggest deals throughout its history. It then went on to become one of the highest-grossing independent films ever. The Academy honored it with four nominations and awarded Arkin both Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor. In short, it was a surprise triumph.
The Bagoa Do Mino Albariño is a delightful white wine hailing from the Rias Baixas appellation in Galicia. The region's cool, maritime climate and granitic soils provide a crucible for crisp, refreshing white wines.
In the glass, the Bagoa Do Mino Albariño Rias Baixas has a greenish tinge, signaling its youthful vibrancy. On the nose, the wine captivates with a fragrant bouquet of white peach, ripe pear, green apple, and zesty lemon, complemented by subtle floral notes and hints of wet stone. The palate is met with a lively, refreshing acidity that enlivens the wine's bright fruit flavors, showcasing layers of citrus, stone fruit, and melon. The wine's medium body and smooth, rounded texture are balanced by its crisp, mineral-driven finish.
Why They Pair Well
Albariños are a somewhat lesser-known gem for many wine drinkers, much like "Little Miss Sunshine" was a surprise hit at the Sundance Film Festival and later the box office. Rias Baixas vineyards have to withstand harsh coastal conditions, like the challenges the Hoover family faces. The wine is fun but not vapid thanks to its mineral undertones. Most often enjoyed young, Albariños match Olive's energy and optimism.
By Eddie Beeby
What wine would you pair with "Little Miss Sunshine?"