“Everything’s better with some wine in the belly,” claimed Tyrion Lannister in Game of Thrones, series one. And with wine so integral to the GoT universe, it’s no surprise to find the series has its own range. In fact, Game of Thrones wines have been around for a couple of years now.
From the hot mulled wine of the Night’s Watch to the esteemed reds of Dorne, everyone in Westeros is chugging the stuff down. Even the Dothrakis appear to have their own varietals, although I dread to imagine the tasting notes for those: mule’s breath and camel’s pee, perhaps.
On a side note, somebody has compiled a video of all the wine-drinking antics in the show. Must have taken them ages. Check it out here (contains colourful language and scenes of debauchery. But then, as a Thrones fan, you’ll be used to that).
The Game Of Thrones Wines
Three Game of Thrones wines are currently available: a red wine blend from Paso Robles, a Chardonnay and a Cabernet Sauvignon, with another (a Pinot Noir) on its way. I tasted the Paso Robles and the Chardonnay.
Game Of Thrones Chardonnay 2016
The first thing to hit you from this Chardonnay, from Californian winemaker Bob Cabral, is its oak. As you might expect from a Game of Thrones wine, it’s bold, full bodied, and as American as chewing gum in a star-spangled Cadillac.
I’d recommend leaving it to open up for ten minutes or so before drinking, because that’s when the aromas of freshly cooked apple pie crust emerge (one of my favourite aspects of Californian Chardonnay), along with the pear and peach smells you generally associate with moderate-to-warm-climate Chards.
Interestingly, though, this isn’t pure Chardonnay. Closer inspection reveals that it’s, in fact, a cuvée, made with ten percent Riesling — presumably to freshen it up a touch and counterbalance the Chardonnay’s heavy, creamy texture. It’s a subtle effect though, and you’d need to be a bloodhound to detect the Riesling’s distinctive notes of lime and rubber lurking underneath.
13.5% volume. £23.60 from 8Wines.com
Game Of Thrones Red Wine Blend 2016
Situated roughly halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, the wine-growing area of Paso Robles is known for its world-class reds.
This blend, also produced by Bob Cabral, is made from six varietals, including Petite Syrah and Zinfandel, backed up with Tempranillo and Malbec.
Such a hefty mix of grapes combines to make the type of wine Ser Gregor “The Mountain” might enjoy. And, as you’d expect, it initially jabs you with strong aromas of cherry, blackberry, liquorice and oaky vanilla, before following up with a right hook of tobacco and chocolate notes. On the palate, it’s smooth, full-bodied, dry and… strong in alcohol, with a medium finish.
For those who prefer a lighter red, look out for the Pinot Noir… coming soon.
13.9% volume. £24.59 from 8Wines.com
Both of these wines deliver pretty much what you’d expect: big, strong, American-style flavours, with lots of character. They look good too, with lovely, gold, medieval-style woodblock-printed labels.
They’d both go excellently with a roast dinner: turkey for the Chardonnay, beef for the Paso Robles. And, as “winter is coming”, they’d make ace Christmas presents for the Game of Thrones-loving wine guzzler in your life.
Game Of Thrones Wine: Where To Buy In The UK
These wines are imported from the States, so they’re not as easy to get hold of in Europe as you might expect. They’re not available in supermarkets, or even any specialist wine merchants that I’m aware of. I’m sure I spotted some in the Game of Thrones merchandise shop in Dubrovnik, but unless your’e within trotting distance of southern Croatia, your best bet is to order them online.
I got mine from 8Wines.com, where the Paso Robles is currently £24.59, the Chardonnay £23.60 and the Cab £59.07. This is cheaper than other online retailers I looked at (they’re nearly twice the price on Amazon), plus you can save a few quid by buying all three at once here (currently £98.69).
Use the Wine Ninjas’ discount code WNINJAS8 at the checkout at www.8wines.com and you’ll get £12 off any orders over £100.
I’m not usually a big fan of “themed wines” like these . . . BUT, I do love Bob Cabral’s stuff. Might need to stock up on a couple for GoT’s last season!
Great idea. I actually drank them while re-watching season one (not all by myself, I did share). There must be some kind of drinking game you coul incorporate. Like, take a sip every time Cersei has one. That could be dangerous though.
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Great review, will be buying the red I think.
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