With an average of 10.1 million viewers each week and 38 Primetime Emmy Awards, Game of Thrones is one of the most successful TV series ever. We, of course, are included in this fan base. Well, Andrew and I are fans. Meghan thinks it’s silly, and I suspect Liz does, too. Anyone who has watched the show has seen the copious amounts of wine drinking, leading to such lines as Tyrion’s “That’s what I do: I drink and I know things.” It’s also led to the creation of branded wines designed “to match the strength of the characters and the terrain of their kingdoms.”
Winemaker Bob Cabral produced three Game of Thrones wines: Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Central Coast Chardonnay, and Paso Robles Red Blend.
Andrew and I bought into the fun of the wines and tried the 2015 Red Blend (his words as he opened the bottle, "I have absolutely no expectations this will be decent wine"). He wanted to drink it out of this thing. We paired it with the most “Westerosi” meal we could get from takeout: lamb and beef kabobs. How could we not, especially after reading the description on the back of the bottle that, humorously, reads as if these are actual wine regions in an actual place called Westeros.
From the arid climate of Dorne to the lush vineyards of The Reach, the topography of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros is as diverse as the wine we produce. Against the backdrop of the ever evolving struggle for the Iron Throne and amidst the howling winds of winter, nobles raise their glasses and toast to luck in the wars to come.
2015 Game of Throne Paso Robles Red Blend
Yes, we're taking a tasting note on this, knowing full well this was purely a fun, kitschy wine... It has a quite earthy nose with what Andrew calls “soccer ball,” i.e. a new, rubbery smell. The nose also offered a touch of burnt sugar. We’re not sure what grapes were used to create this blend, but we wouldn’t be surprised if Petit Verdot was one of them. The nose gave a hint of an intensely flavorful, alcoholic meatiness that at its best is a wonderful Petit Verdot, and at its worst conjures cheap, airplane wine. Luckily, what we found was somewhere in the middle of the two. Given the nose, the taste of the wine was surprising. We found no earthiness, but menthol on the front. It drank like an unchained (breaker of chains?) California Cabernet, with moderate acidity and tannins. We recommend decanting this one, as we found it smoothed out over the evening.
Overall, it’s not a bad wine to sip while discussing the fate of the Seven Kingdoms. Sunday, August 27 is the Season Seven finale. Get your own bottles from Amazon at the links below (as always, thanks for supporting Wine:Thirty Flight by buying from our links below).