Alamo Previews 'The Silence of the Lambs' Signature Wines and Feast


Silence of the Lambs Feast Menu

Last year the Alamo Drafthouse inaugurated their signature wine series featuring classic movie themes with the inaugural Princess Bride-inspired "Bottle of Wits" Inconceivable Cab and As You Wish White.

Today, Alamo revealed their second wines in the limited edition series: The Cannibal Chianti and Suit Yourself Pinot Grigio, inspired by Jonathan Demme's Academy award-winning 1991 film The Silence of the Lambs. The wines will  be available at The Silence of the Lambs Feast at select Alamo Drafthouse locations nationwide -- the Austin event will be held June 19 at the Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter. I had the chance to sample the wines as well as the feast at a press preview on Tuesday night at the Slaughter location.

The Cannibal Chianti is an Italian wine (DOCG, for those in the know) from a vineyard located between Sienna and Florence. This dark fruit-forward medium-bodied wine gets its flavor from a blend of 85% Sangiovese with small amounts of Canaiolo and Malvasia del Chianti. Suit Yourself Pinot Grigio is a crisp and light-bodied white wine featuring grapes from California’s Central Coast and inland vineyards. The light citrusy finish makes it suitable for summertime enjoyment.

Silence of the Lambs winesThe bottle labels and package at first glance seem simple, yet intricate plot and character references are contained in the bottle label and package design. Both wines are available for purchase at Alamo Drafthouse locations (where local laws allow) or can be ordered online.

The Silence of the Lambs Feast features a four-course menu created by Alamo Drafthouse Austin Market Chef Trish Eichelberger. Here's what I enjoyed at the preview event:

  • Fried chicken liver and fava bean puree with carrot chow chow and Chianti gelee, paired with Segura Viudas Brut Cava Reserva
  • Buffalo Bill's skinless chicken wings in bacon fat and sriracha "lotion" with Maytag blue cheese aioli, paired with Suit Yourself Pinot Grigio
  • Lamb kafta cassoulet (lamb meatballs in a tomato, onion and chickpea casserole) served on couscous with yogurt beet slaw and Marcona almonds, paired with The Cannibal Chianti
  • Lemon curd tartlet with mint creme fraiche and warm blueberry compote, paired with Moscato D'Asti

I enjoyed the carnivore-themed dishes immensely, although the pairing that stood out the most for me was the dessert course. The sweetness of the Moscato became enjoyably understated when paired with the lemon curd. Of the wines on their own I most enjoyed The Cannibal Chianti, and can see it easily becoming a staple in my red wine collection along with my favorite Cabernet Franc and Malbec wines.

Alamo Drafthouse's art division Mondo is supporting the launch of the new wine with two new limited edition The Silence of the Lambs screenprints by artist Caesar Moreno. The posters will go on sale Thursday, May 30.

Pairing a feast with The Silence of the Lambs might seem difficult to stomach, but as Alamo CEO and founder Tim League said in a press release, "Even before we launched the 'Bottle of Wits' series last year, we knew we had to reference what is in my opinion the most iconic wine moment in movie history, Hannibal Lecter's now-famous food pairing advice."

After attending the preview feast, I most definitely agree. Despite the graphic nature of The Silence of the Lambs, upon repeat viewing I am further convinced at how well made this film is -- whether it's the direction of Jonathan Demme and the writing of Thomas Harris and Ted Tally, or the excellent performances of Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins.

It's been over 20 years since The Silence of the Lambs was released, yet the tension still builds every time I watch this classic horror thriller. Check out what Ted Tally had to say about working with Jonathan Demme on this film in his Austin Film Festival Conversations. You can watch the movie's original SFW trailer below.

[Photo credits: Silence of the Lambs feast photo by Cory Ryan, used with permission from Alamo Drafthouse.]