Jaws - Peter Benchley

If you've only seen the movie, you really need to read the book. They are COMPLETELY different. Where the movie is a all-against-the-monster hero story, the book is more of a Peyton Place model. You have a small town with all its infighting, undercurrents and twistedness, hidden beneath the "tourist town" veneer. One of the characters feels the town is being punished for its wickedness, and by the end of the book other characters are beginning to agree.

The intriguing wine scenes come thanks to the wife of Sheriff Brody. Brody is a down-home boy, but his wife is from "the other side of the tracks". She was rich and famous once. At times she tries to show off her class. On such situation is where she throws a dinner party. She has to get a new set of wine glasses for the occasion - $20 for a dozen - in preparation.

She's got three wines - a white in the "icebox" (this was the early 70s, did they still call it that?) and two reds. She tells her hubby to go open all three. Then she adds, "Oh, and the tire-bouchin is on the counter next to the red."

"The what?" asks her confused husband.

One of the other guests, a little more savvy, says "It's the tire-bouchon (i.e. with an O at the end). The corkscrew."

Tire-bouchon is in fact the word "corkscrew" in French. In Paris, in Montmartre, there is a restaurant called Le Tire Bouchon. I have to admit that I have *never* heard someone call a corkscrew that in normal conversation :)

Brody heads into the kitchen. He finds the white in the fridge, and is confused by its name - Montrachet. This is of course a famous Burgundy, i.e. Chardonnay. He doesn't know how to pronounce it, but he does his best. He puts his left hand behind his back, stands over his wife's right shoulder and pours her the glass. "A glass of Mount Ratchet," he says. "Very good year, 1970. I remember it well."

Wine's also present the next day when Brody's wife immediately heads out to have an affair with shark-lover Hooper; they share a bottle of "cold Chablis" before their tryst.

So what's the lesson here? People trying to act "sophisticated" out on Long Island in the early 70s drank French wine, didn't quite know how to pronounce French words, and got eaten by sharks :)

Wine in Movies and Books

All content on the WineIntro website is personally written by author and wine enthusiast Lisa Shea. WineIntro explores the delicious variety and beautiful history which makes up our world of wine! Lisa loves supporting local wineries and encouraging people to drink whatever they like. We all have different taste buds, and that makes our world wonderful. Always drink responsibly.