Wine and the Greatest Story Ever Filmed

godfatherwineThere’s a wonderful scene in the film The Godfather in which the aging and retired Godfather is sitting in the shade on a warm day with his son Michael, who recently took over the operations of the “family business”. They are sipping wine and the Godfather muses on his recent increased intake of the beverage:

It’s by far my favorite wine-related scene in this, the finest American film ever produced. It’s poignant. It shows the Godfather in a sympathetic light as his doting son looks on, listens and just sits with his father (before they plan on how to deal with the person that will inevitably try to assassinate Michael.)

But it’s not the only wine-related scene in The Godfather. Another of my favorite has Fat Clemenza, one of the Godfather’s Caporegimes dancing to exhaustion, outdoors at the wedding of the daughter of the Godfather. He’s tired and thirsty and calls out for  refreshment. Of course, it must be wine, and not drunk from a fine glass:

There’s nothing about this scene that isn’t good. Coming in the beginning of the film we quickly establish the authority of Fat Clemenza, we establish his glutinous was and we establish the wine is a common beverage, nothing more. It’s splendid.

Another wine related scene n the Godfather, again involving Fat Clemenza, has Michael being taught how to cook meatballs and sauce for 20 guys in case they ever need to hide out. Notice the vessel in which the wine comes. No label. No nothing. Clearly someone is making their own wine:

I only mention these connections between the The Godfather and wine because it’s on my mind. Tonight, I get to cross off an item on my bucket list: The Godfather is playing on the big screen in Napa. I’ve got my tickets. The Godfather was released in 1972. I of course did not see it at the time being 9 years old. And I only came to appreciate the film and all its messages later in life after watching it numerous times from the comfort of my couch. I never saw the film as it was made to be experienced by Francis Ford Coppola.

That ends tonight.


9 Responses

  1. Clint - April 10, 2013

    Great ones. And will look amazing on big screen I’m sure. I never tire of the Godfather (part II as well). Also, another classic scene: At restaurant Louis, where Michael has to take a “bathroom break” – I believe there was wine being poured in that scene if I recall correctly.

  2. Tom Wark - April 10, 2013


    Yep…Some sort of a chianti is served in the Sollozzo assassination scene. And in others.

    There’s another scene where the Godfather takes a meeting with “The Turk” in his, presumably, Mulberry Street offices. The Godfather gets up and graciously pours Sollozzo a glass of grappa then performs one of the most subtle but dominating moves in cinema: he leans to sit down next to the hood Sollozzo, but before he sits in the chair next to him, he casually wipes a bit of dirt or something off Sollozzo’s pants, as though Sollozzo his incapable of keeping himself tidy. And, we realize that The Godfather notices EVERYTHING.

  3. Kurt Burris - April 10, 2013

    Enjoy the movie. While in college friends and I would have a big pasta feed, with meatballs of course, lots of red wine, and then watch the Godfather saga where they took I and II and arranged all the scenes chronologically.

  4. Terroirist: A Daily Wine Blog » Daily Wine News: Online Setback - April 11, 2013

    […] Wark praises The Godfather (and […]

  5. NEWS FETCH – April 11, 2013 | Wine Industry Insight - April 11, 2013

    […] Wine and the Greatest Story Ever Filmed […]

  6. xrs - April 11, 2013

    Kurt – Where did you get a copy of the Godfather Saga? I’ve been looking for it for what seems like years. Many movie critics agree that this is the best way to view both films, in chronological order. It adds an epic feel to the story.

  7. Daily Wine News: Online Setback | Ποδήλατο καφέ - podilato caffè- (bicicletta caffè, bicycle cafe, bisiklet kahve, bicicleta café, café vélo, café bicicleta, قهوه دوچرخه , fahrrad-kaffee, 自行車咖啡, бицикл кафа, - April 11, 2013

    […] Wark praises The Godfather (and […]

  8. peter - October 11, 2015

    Does anyone know what winery Vito and his family visit in part 2? They show the adults toasting in the barrel house.

  9. New Year 2016 - October 18, 2015

    I really loved reading your blog.

Leave a Reply