It's a Wonderful Life

Yes, you know the story. George Bailey is a small-town man with big dreams, who is feeling depressed by the way things have turned out. He's contemplating ending it all. Along comes an angel, to show him just what life WOULD have been like if he hadn't been around. In the end, everybody is happy, and one man's difference is seen to shine clearly.

Ah, but what did this have to do with wine? This after all was the movie in which we hear "The Evil" Nick say, "Hey look, mister, we serve hard drinks in here for men who want to get drunk fast and we don't need any characters around to give the joint atmosphere. Is that clear or do I have to slip you my lip for a convincer?"

Well, first, there's the wedding scene. When George and Mary get married, Ernie presents them with a gift of a bottle of Champagne. He's giving it to them from Bert the cop. Note that that duo - Ernie and Bert - are what the Sesame Street characters are named after!

How about when George and Mary help the Italian immigrants move into a house? They give a welcoming speech:

Bread - that this house may never know hunger.
Salt - that life may always have flavor.
Wine - that joy and prosperity may reign forever.

But is it only the earthly ones who enjoy wine? Nope! The Angel, Clarence, is also a fan. Apparently the Heavenly Host enjoyed wine! When he's in the "Evil" bar, he asks for a glass of mulled wine that is "heavy on the cinnamon, easy on the cloves."

So, what would such a recipe be like? Here's my version of:

Clarence's Mulled Wine

2 bottles red wine
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
4 sticks cinnamon
5 whole cloves
1 orange
1 lemon

Zest the fruit, avoiding the white pith. Put this, the sugar, cinnamon and cloves into the water. Bring this to a slow boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Now add the wine. Add in the actual orange and lemon fruit part, sliced up. Warm this on low heat for 40 minutes (do NOT boil). Strain out the wine and serve!

On an ending note, the movie originally ended with "Ode to Joy" instead of "Auld Lang Syne"!

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.