Guess Who's Coming To Dinner was Spencer Tracy's last film and Katharine Hepburn's second Academy Award win. She stars alongside her niece Katharine Houghton and another great actor of all time, Sidney Poitier. This was the first time I'd seen this film and like every other movie with Katharine Hepburn, I wasn't disappointed. When I made the pairings for this round, my aunt suggested Guess Who's Coming To Dinner as one of the films we watch for Katharine Hepburn. I agreed, having never seen the movie, and decided it would be paired with the red wine. I knew the basis of the story and felt that for several reasons it was the perfect combination. I have to say, I was right.
Guess Who's Coming To Dinner is a film about a 23-year old girl named Joey (aka Joanna) who brings home a man that she's fallen in love with, John. This would seem like not a big deal except for the fact that John is not white, he's African American and it's 1967. Joey's parents, although incredibly liberal for their time, are shocked by this news and her father, Spencer Tracy's character, seems to deal with it the hardest. Hilariously, the Monsignor who is a great friend of the family, is the most supportive and encouraging towards the couple. Katherine Hepburn, as shocked as she is at first is fully supportive of her daughter as is John's mother. The dads are the issue. However, Spencer Tracy is not upset over his daughter being with a black man. He's worried about all the pain they're going to endure and the hardships their children would face. He's terrified for them because he knows the world they're going to be living in. He doesn't want them to get hurt. He also doesn't feel it's fair he's given one day to come to terms with the news his daughter is getting married to a man he never even heard of before that day. I think we can all agree that no matter the circumstances, that part seems a little extreme. In the end, Spencer Tracy gives this incredible speech about his day, the emotions he'd been through and his thoughts on the situation. Then they all sit down to dinner.
This film was one of the best I've ever seen. I love that it tackled what at the time was a huge topic of interest, one that many were not comfortable enough to even talk about, but still had funny elements to it. There are many great films that cover controversial topics and are all drama and seriousness, no humor. But that's not life. Life sees the humor in everything because how can it not? Sidney Poitier is a phenomenal actor and I loved his performance in this film. He was the epitome of a gentleman and played such a contrast to Katharine Houghton's innocence and optimism. Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy were amazing as always. I doubt I will ever dislike a role they play. Spencer Tracy sadly died the same year this film came out but his performance was one hell of a way to go out. The final speech he gave really, and I mean really, made some valid and moving points. I loved it so much I've included it at the end of this post for you to see for yourself.
I paired this film with a red wine because I felt that red wine is generally drunk at dinner and this movie is heavily about who's coming to dinner. Don't you think? It also worked out because this particular Cabernet was not too dark just like the movie wasn't too dramatic. There were funny, light-hearted moments that kept the mood positive. The 2014 Pacificana Cabernet Sauvignon comes from Paso Robles, California and has a signature scent that consists of strawberry jam, plum, fresh herbs, roses and rhubarb. ClubW says, "Long before becoming synonymous with world-class wine, Paso Robles was mostly known for its natural hot springs and almond trees. But with temperate hot days, cool nights, and well-draining soils that echoed the conditions of Bordeaux, local winemakers were inspired to craft a melting pot of a growing region with Cabernet Sauvignon at the head of its bounty. Today, this variety makes up almost half of all grapes grown across the appellation and when it comes to flavor, what you'll find is amazing concentration akin to the great Cabernets of the world. To create a great Cabernet you need to start with great fruit and this one came from a vineyard with just the perfect growing conditions. With brighter fruit flavor, tamer tannins, and stainless steel fermentation, Pacificana is such an easy-drinking, friendly kind of Cab...a pair-it-with-a-burger-and-fries kind of Cab."
I think this might have been the first Cabernet Sauvignon that I've ever had. I could be mistaken but none stand out to me from the past. You can tell from the scent it's going to be a dry wine and very tannic. You can smell plum, blackberry and an earthiness to it. On the tongue you taste wood, plum and earth. I know that might sound weird but sometimes when reds are earthy or woodsy, I feel like I can practically taste the dirt. The tannins are very strong so expect a dry feeling in your mouth after swallowing. The flavor lingers for a while as well. A dry, woodsy linger. It's fairly enjoyable though. I would pair this with a hearty meal. The suggestion on the card is for Turkey Meatball Sliders. I just might have to make those for dinner one night. I wonder who'll be coming????