Ready to wine down and chill? Return here each Friday to find food, movie, wine and music recommendations that are paired in a theme. Read on for an easy, no-recipe-required fabulous dinner paired with an affordable wine, some music, and a viewing suggestion. We’re here to help you sit back, wine down and chill.

All paired up

Weddings are more than a summer event. Many couples are now having autumn weddings and, quite often, hosting them in vineyards. Winter weddings, particularly around the holidays, have always been popular so it seemed like the perfect time to do a marriage theme for our wine down and chill column.

On the flipside, holiday stress can bring out the worst in people so it’s also a common time to separate or get divorced. Cheers to whichever way you like it best! Just be kind, always be kind…

Bubbles on the house

As I was making today’s selection, I immediately thought of the brilliant marriage of house wine and Cheez-its crackers paired in a box. The winery, House Wine, is a quirky winery with amazing marketing and a niche offering anchored in offering decent wines at great prices. And here’s something even more interesting about their offering – you can buy your wine in a bottle, box or can for on-the-go.

House Wine in a can

Canned wine, what-the-what? Truth. It’s already a $45 million business and growing quickly. It’s the fastest growing wine category largely attributed to the Millennials who are always on the move and need a wine option that isn’t going to create a dangerous mess of broken glass. We’ve covered box wines in previous columns and canned wine is the natural extension. It’s still less than 0.5% of all wine consumption, so it’s not super trendy – yet. But it will be after this wine down and chill column goes live! Haha… if you’re thinking about toting a few cans of wine to the next house party, here are 17 brands to consider.

I’m a fan of House Wine Rosé Bubbles. It’s light, bright and beautiful, just as the brand promises it will be! Having bubbles ready for a wine down chill in your house – or in someone else’s house – at the ready, chilled in the fridge, is a nice option if you don’t want to open a bottle. Each can contains the equivalent of two glasses of wine and is priced around $5/can.

Wedding soup

This was an easy selection to make. On the topic of marriage, wedding soup seemed like the logical choice. Although it’s traditionally considered an Italian dish made by Americans and requires meat to be paired with vegetables, it doesn’t have to be. You can substitute faux meat or go vegan with it if you like for your wine down and chill dinner.

If you want to make the extra effort of frying up some onions and garlic to add to the soup, go for it! Traditionally, this step is not required for this recipe when it is served at Italian weddings.

Five ingredients and five steps

One, start by heating up a carton (or two) of either beef or chicken broth. Go with veggie broth if that’s your preference.

Two, toss in a box of orzo pasta. See how easy this is, already?

Three, toss in a bag of frozen meatballs, turkey, beef or veggie. Your call.

Four, toss in a fresh or frozen bag of cubed, sliced or shredded carrots.

Five, ribbon-slice up a head of escarole and toss it in at the end just prior to serving.

Pour yourself a glass, it’s time to wine down and chill.

Marriage Story

I’m a huge fan of Adam Driver. He’s incredible and has an intensity about him that is incomparable to other actors on the screen today. Plus, he’s versatile, as adept on Broadway in front of a live audience as he is on the big screen. Not to mention how he can shift characters from an intergalactic badass to a suburban husband and father as he does in Marriage Story.

Speaking of badass, if you’re sick of standard style (yawn-city) boring conferences, check out the BadAssSummit!

Driver is paired up with Scarlett Johansson, who takes a refreshing break from the automaton roles she’s been playing for years in various Marvel franchises. Laura Dern, who previously worked with Driver in Star Wars, The Last Jedi, also stars in the Netflix film under the excellent direction of Noah Baumbach.

Although it’s not the happiest of topics, it is witty and relevant to real life. Marriages do crumble but relationships with the children produced from the marriage must soldier on. One of the more interesting aspects of this film is how they produced three trailers. One is told from Charlie’s perspective (Driver) who says why he loves Nicole (Johansson). The second is told from Nicole’s perspective on why she loves Charlie. And the third trailer combines both perspectives and talks about their union.

Alright. It’s Friday. Let’s go wine down and chill!

Cheers!

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels