I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to "Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse" and it's as good an excuse as any to rewatch the first movie, "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse."
This fun and quirky animated adventure pairs best with an Emilia-Romagna Lambrusco, like Cleto Chiarli's Lambrusco di Modena.
"Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse," directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman, is a groundbreaking film that redefines what's possible in the realm of animated storytelling. The film introduces audiences to Miles Morales (Shameik Moore), a Brooklyn teenager who must step into the role of Spider-Man in his universe after Kingpin (Liev Shreiber) kills off Peter Parker. That's not a spoiler, that happens in the first 30 minutes and there's no need to mourn Peter Parker for long. Kingpin also activates a particle accelerator that wreaks havoc across the multiverse, pulling in Spider-Men and Spider-Women from other dimensions.
One of the film's standout qualities is its unique and visually stunning animation style. The filmmakers took some risks with its comic book-inspired aesthetics, complete with thought bubbles and panel-like framing. The movie looks like a comic book come to life. They even used different animation styles for characters from different universes to further enhance the multidimensional aspect of the story. Innovation like this is hard to come by and the filmmakers should be applauded.
Not all of the risks they took pay off, however. I have to ding the jerky motion that results from initially giving Miles Morales a low framerate. I understand the filmmakers felt it would help showcase Miles Morale's growth as his framerate improves. Unfortunately, it's way too distracting and I suspect they did it in part to help cut costs, because it meant fewer frames to render. That wasn't the place to cut corners, guys.
There's nothing wrong with the narrative, though. It blends high-stakes action, heartfelt emotion, and a great deal of humor. The film explores themes of self-discovery, responsibility, and the concept of heroism, offering a fresh perspective on the familiar Spider-Man mythology. The diverse cast of characters and the emphasis on inclusivity contribute to the film's broad appeal.
The villains also deserve a shout-out. Spider-Man's rogues have a long, proud history of committing heinous acts in their pursuit of sympathetic motives and Spider-Man, with full knowledge of this, reluctantly has to stop them. Kingpin and his right-hand, Prowler (Masershala Ali), continue this tradition in the best way. Many Spider-Man villains also once had a close personal relationship with Spider-Man or one of his allies that has gone sour. Again, Prowler here is a good example but the movie also subtly implies Dr. Olivia "Doc Ock" Octavius (Kathryn Hahn) is one too. (She says, "My friends actually call me Liv. My enemies call me Doc Ock." Later in the movie, Aunt May rather sarcastically says, "Oh great, it's Liv." Seems like Aunt May and Doc Ock used to be friends or maybe even more. They nearly married in the comics.)
The film's soundtrack, featuring Sunflower by Post Malone & Swae Lee (🥰), creates an energetic and contemporary feel that complements the film's urban setting and youthful protagonist.
Cleto Chiarli is one of the oldest and most esteemed wine producers in Emilia-Romagna, Italy, known for their high-quality Lambrusco wines. The Lambrusco di Modena Amabile is a delightful semi-sweet sparkling red wine, showcasing the varietal's charm and the winery's dedication to quality.
This Lambrusco displays a deep ruby red color with violet hues, showcasing lively bubbles that accentuate its sparkling character.
Medium-bodied and effervescent, you should detect ripe red fruit flavors, such as raspberries, strawberries, and cherries. The finish is pleasantly sweet and lingering, with the light fizz persisting on the palate.
For the best tasting experience, serve this Lambrusco well chilled.
Why They Pair Well
Both the film and the wine are vibrant and energetic. The groundbreaking animation of "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" and its dynamic storytelling match well with the lively, fizzy nature of the Lambrusco.
The Amabile style of the Lambrusco lends a certain sweetness to the wine. Similarly, "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" is a superhero film with a sweet, emotional core.
Just as Lambrusco is often seen as an approachable, crowd-pleasing wine, "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" is a film that can be enjoyed by a wide range of audiences, from children to adults, casual viewers to comic book fans. (Children aren't the audience for a Lambrusco though.)
Lambrusco wines are best enjoyed young and Spider-Man is the king of teenage superheroes, especially Miles Morales' version.
Finally, "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" stands out for its unique animation style and fresh take on the familiar Spider-Man narrative. Similarly, a sparkling red wine like Lambrusco is somewhat unique in the world of wine, offering a different experience compared to still reds or white sparkling wines
By Eddie Beeby
What Wine Would You Pair with "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse?"