What You Didn't Notice About The Wine In 'The Last Of Us'
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Have you caught the Last of Us bug yet? If you’re one of the rare remaining people who's not watching HBO’s infectious post-apocalyptic thriller based on a video game, the frenzy over Episode 3 last week might finally convince you to join the caravan. Warning: Spoilers ahead.
Starring Murray Bartlett and Nick Offerman, the episode tells the backstory of never-before-seen (but heard via radio) characters Frank and Bill. And while Twitter erupted with reactions about the gut-wrenching storyline itself, fans also became particularly fixated on a bottle of wine that got lots of airtime.
Enter: The Beaujolais.
Though its first appearance onscreen is acknowledged by Frank (Bartlett) as if it’s as common as a Malbec or Chardonnay, it evidently didn’t ring as many bells for viewers at home. And if you’re among the fans who are eager to try the same Beaujolais they drink, here’s some good news: The wine is not only pretty cheap, but also widely available, so there’s no need to break into an abandoned wine store in Lincoln, Massachusetts to find some.
Though anti-government survivalist Bill seems to have a selection of prestigious wines at his fingertips—like the occasional Caymus—he makes a different selection when straggler Frank arrives at his home. Coming from the Baltimore quarantine zone en route to Boston, Frank reveals that he hasn’t eaten in two days and asks a reluctant Bill if he can stay for dinner.
“A man who knows to pair rabbit with a Beaujolais,” Frank says as Bill pours him a glass of Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages. It’s a name-drop that might be otherwise unmemorable if not for its suggestive undertones. “I know I don’t seem like the type,” Bill says, to which Frank says, “No, you do.” (Fans have since compared the instant queer icon-ification of the Beaujolais to this summer’s negroni sbagliato craze.)
Before we know it, a beautiful 16-year-long love story unfolds between the two men in their booby-trapped bunker. And the Beaujolais bookends their romance. Frank, who is terminally ill, reveals to Bill that he plans to share his final day with him. Among his requests is that Bill administer a lethal dose of medication in his wine at dinner. That evening, Bill opens the same bottle of Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages and decides to poison himself so that the two lovers can die in each another’s arms.
Sure, the grim pairing of Bill and Frank’s final Beaujolais might not have you immediately reaching for a glass, but you might be surprised to know that the Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages is actually a fairly affordable and delicious wine.
Beaujolais is primarily sourced from the (shocker) French Beaujolais wine region. Food and Wine reports that Beaujolais-Villages wines are those grown throughout the permitted 38 villages of the northern Beaujolais region. Beaujolais are typically reds made from Gamay grapes that have a fresh, light taste and are low in tannins.
According to Louis Jadot’s official site, the Beaujolais-Villages is made from 100 percent Gamay grapes, offering a medium-bodied, fruit-forward taste with “flavors of strawberries and black cherries with spice notes.” As for pairings, Louis Jadot recommends hors d-oeuvres, mild cheeses, and poultry dishes. (Perhaps the strawberries from Bill and Frank’s garden might have paired nicely as a post-rabbit dessert?)
Of course, I had to venture out from my own bunker to try the Beaujolais for myself. The process was made fairly easy by the wine locator on Louis Jadot’s site, where you can track down their bottles by varietal. The Beaujolais-Villages was heavily stocked in my area, and I was able to grab a bottle at a shop around the corner for just $12.99.
I can attest it was very drinkable and light, and would certainly lend itself as a casual table wine. The light palette also seemed to make it a great option for those looking for a chilled red. Sure, a Caymus would probably be more suitable for a final meal. But, if sentimentality is what you’re looking for as a fan, this is one is absolutely worth a try.
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