Sommelier tested. Not necessarily sommelier approved.
You already know that Game of Thrones beer exists. You also know that Sunday night is an excellent occasion to crack open a
cold one bottle of wine and settle into some real dragon-laden, Iron Throne shit. You also know that television franchises love to make money, so the fact that Game of Thrones wine is now a thing shouldn’t shock you.
Last year, the Game of Thrones team partnered with California-based Vintage Wine Estates to come out with three bottles of fermented grape juice: a Chardonnay (shout out to dragon-loving moms), a red blend, and a Cabernet Sauvignon. The copy on the back labels is just as dramatic as you want it to be, comparing California’s terrain to the harsh climes and unforgiving mountains of Westeros. Just like you learned in middle school geography.
To try the stuff, we went to visit Grant Reynolds, partner and beverage director at Manhattan’s Charlie Bird and casual Game of Thrones-watcher. We swirled and we sniffed, and Reynolds decided that the Chardonnay was the most dragon-appropriate wine.
They were all, not super surprisingly, not great. The Chardonnay is the sort of thing that Chardonnay haters think of when someone offers a glass: buttery (Reynolds said it tasted like popcorn, and he wasn’t wrong, and this wasn’t a good thing) and egregiously oaky. The red blend is what you’d imagine when you think of a Game of Thrones wine: a burly, aggressive, highly alcoholic red that would put some hair on even Hodor’s already-hairy (we assume) chest. The Cabernet Sauvignon was the least offensive: slightly less alcoholic than the blend, slightly less oaky than the Chardonnay. But still overpowering enough that if winter were coming, you’d drink this sort of stuff to stay warm.
These will all get you sufficiently wine drunk for a Sunday evening watching session—but maybe consider something a little subtle and a little more interesting, Reynolds suggested. Like a pinot noir, maybe….