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7:00am Saturday 23rd February 2013 in NewsXtra
Fancy a drink? Our drinks columnist Sam Wylie-Harris walks the red carpet and suggests some eclectic award-worthy wines.
The toast of Hollywood A ceremony driven by high-octane glamour, the A-listers will be out in force for the 85th Academy Awards on February 24.
With movie stars descending on the red carpet and a worldwide audience tuning in, it's time to throw an Oscar night party and polish up your best stemware.
After the envelopes have been opened, the champagne will be flowing at the Governor's Ball in the heart of Hollywood.
To mirror this sparkling occasion, pop the cork on Champagne Thienot 2005, France (£41.90, www.aduv.co.uk), which will be served at the star-studded event alongside a gourmet meal prepared by celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck.
Champagne's youngest rising star, Thienot has only released eight other vintages in its 27-year history, and the 2005 is rich and sumptuous with aromas of freshly baked brioche and mouth-filling honey and fresh fruits.
While Daniel Day-Lewis is expected to make Hollywood history by winning his third Best Actor Oscar, there's still a tight race for Best Picture.
For an evening of wine and song, try Domaine de L'Aigle Limoux Chardonnay 2010, France (£9.99 from £12.99, Majestic) to cheer along with a rendition of Drink With Me from Les Miserables. Bright and fresh with ripe aromas of peach and hazelnuts, it'll bring new life to a favourite recipe.
Foreign art house films such as Amour need a soft, ruby red to help ease those moments of heartache. With a red rose on the bottle, Les Dames Huguettes Bourgogne Hauts Cotes de Nuits 2009, France (£16.49 from £19.99, until Feb 19, Tesco) presents a bouquet of spicy aromas with flavours of berries and plum, followed by subtle hints of oak and spice through the long finish.
Quentin Tarantino's crime thriller Django Unchained stories a German bounty hunter who befriends a former slave and viewers can take solace in a glass of Peter & Peter Mosel Riesling Trocken 2011, Germany (£5.99 from £6.49, until Feb 19, Tesco). Dry and clean with delicious peach and apricot flavours, counterbalanced by good acidity, it's a perfect match with Asian bites while the excellent soundtrack plays in the background.
Up for a cache of medals, Life Of Pi is a fantasy adventure that should be honoured with a Bollywood wine. Try Mantra Sauvignon Blanc 2009, India (£8.99, www.laithwaites.co.uk) for an exotic medley of kiwi fruit, gooseberry and grapefruit and a good illustration of how the Indian terroir can produce quality wines.
Elephant Hill Pinot Noir 2011, Central Otago, New Zealand (£18.81, www.thesampler.co.uk) is already a medal winner and not only does the name conjure up colourful images, but this elegant pinot noir has aromas of ripe dark cherries, spicy currant and fine tannin structure with a lengthy enough finish to complement a long acceptance speech.
Steven Spielberg's Lincoln is a strong favourite to walk away with an Oscar and a robust red from one of Washington State's most colourful characters is a top drop to applaud the critics' choice.
Charles Smith has won many accolades for his cool climate reds and Charles Smith Black Crown Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, USA (£11.99, www.laithwaites.co.uk) is supple and rich with sweet cherries and currants, a hint of eucalyptus and an appealing warm, earthy finish.
Director Ben Affleck will be hoping to repeat his success at the Baftas and triumph in Tinseltown with his Iranian hostage drama Argo.
Far from the Hollywood Hills but still in the Sunshine State, the Napa Valley is the bling-bling of the grapevine and several famous faces have put their names to wines such as top-ranked pro golfer Luke Donald.
For a taste sensation, try Luke Donald Collection Claret, Napa Valley, 2006, USA (£29.99, www.cellarviewines.com). A blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc and petit verdot, it's a red Bordeaux style but California's long, sunny days bless this wine with a silky veil of intense black fruit. Concentrated and opulent with coffee accents, it's the best-dressed label for a front-row seat.
:: Best buy Baileys Irish cream liqueur has joined forces with German fashion label Felder Felder to create a limited edition range of specially designed bottles. Each of the four designs are inspired by a different Baileys flavour and comes with a handmade leather studded bracelet by the design duo. Limited edition Baileys The Original, Baileys Biscotti, Baileys Hazelnut and Baileys Coffee (£39.95, www.thewhiskyexchange.com) :: Liquid news Best brandy... Famous for its orange-flavoured brandy liqueur, Grand Marnier has launched a limited edition cognac to grace the finest drinks cabinets. Designed to give cognac connoisseurs the ultimate drinking experience, Grand Marnier Quintessence (£499.99, www.thewhiskyexchange.com) promises the best rich fruitcake flavours and is made from Grande Champagne cognacs including vintages from 1875, 1906 and 1955
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