The year was 1969 and I was a mere slip of a boy, only twelve years old. I’d flown from my home in San Antonio, alone I might add, to visit my cool aunt and uncle in Dallas. My mother’s younger sister had a convertible and my uncle had long (by my father’s standards) hair. One highlight of the trip was loading up, dropping the convertible top and heading to the theater to see John Wayne in True Grit. I sat on the edge of my seat waiting for the gun fight scene and was not disappointed. I remember leaving the movie wanting to grow up to have “True Grit” like John Wayne and madly infatuated with the Kim Darby who played the smart and determined revenge-minded Mattie Ross.
Flash forward to December 22, 2010, the opening of the Cohen Brothers version of True Grit starring Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon. With our three college age kids home for the holiday, we loaded up the SUV and headed for the theater. Only my wife and I had seen the original and for us it had faded into a pleasant blur. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the film from start to finish, especially the horseback gunfight scene. Rooster Cogburn once again proved he had, “True Grit.” This time I left the movie glad I wasn’t as crusty, old and “gritty” as Jeff Bridges and that my daughter is neither as headstrong and smart-alec as Mattie Ross. My how one’s perspective changes.
Instead of heading out to Baskin and Robbins like we did in 1969, we headed home to celebrate the movie just like the stars of the film (read this article from Wine Spectator). Well, maybe not in the same Hollywood glam style, but we did enjoy a bottle of Parducci True Grit Petite Sirah just like Jeff, Matt and Josh. Mattie Ross probably sneaked a glass or two but that’s an unconfirmed fabrication.
Parducci True Grit, which received its name years before the 2010 movie, was a great wine for a great movie. It is listed on the Parducci web site for $19.99. Big and bold, few varietals have the “True Grit” of Petite Sirah. The 2007 offering by Parducci is no exception. These Mendocino County grapes produce a rich deeply purple wine. Much like Rooster Cogburn, the big fruit, black pepper and tannins are not for the faint of heart. Let this gunfighter cool his heels in your decanter for at least 30 minutes before taking aim on your palate.
Was Mattie Ross talking about Rooster Cogburn or Parducci True Grit Petite Sirah when she said, “They say he has grit. I wanted a man with grit.”?
(This wine was provided as a sample…Robert Parker doesn’t buy his wine, either)