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Ms. At The Movies: Pairing Women & Wine With Females & Flicks, February 2015


February’s Movie: “WILD”

“HOW WILD IT WAS TO LET IT BE…..” – Cheryl Strayed

Awards season is upon us, and so, in honor of last year’s female-driven movies, I have decided to base my first wine & movie pairing accordingly. Ladies and gentlemen…I give you…WILD. The biographical dramatic film produced by Reese Witherspoon, starring Reese Witherspoon, and based on the best-selling memoir WILD: FROM LOST TO FOUND ON THE PACIFIC CREST TRAIL from the amazingly inspirational Cheryl Strayed. Now I know what you’re thinking—this film takes place on the Pacific Crest Trail; it is gritty, and raw, and dirty all over…but no – I did NOT choose a ’98 leathery Nebbiolo from Piedmont. Shocked, aren’t you?

Yes, this film deals with female physical bravery, emotional immediacy, and unrelenting grit & grief. But it also portrays a special kind of honesty and vulnerability, a femininity, and most of all….LOVE.

WILD is first and foremost, a love story, and I wanted to choose the perfect pairing that can stand up to both love AND loss. Enter the 2013 sparkling vermentino from Tessa Marie Wines.

Tessa Marie comes from quite the line of family winemakers. Both her grandfather, Fess Parker (you may know him as Davy Crockett) and her father Eli Parker are prominent winemakers from the Santa Barbara area. Tessa started making wine at the age of 18, before she was old enough to even taste it. Her passion for making “New World-style wines with bold, stand-out flavors that still demonstrate balance” have resulted in a sparkling wine that is everything you want out of a bubbly. It’s fun and friendly while also displaying complex notes of toasted brioche. It has the vibrant vermentino flavors of lemon curd, almond paste, and marzipan, while embracing the Methode Traditionnelle, where secondary fermentation takes place in the bottle, creating a lingering biscuity and effervescent finish.

February’s Wine: Tessa Marie’s 2013 Sparkling Vermentino

February’s Wine: Tessa Marie’s 2013 Sparkling Vermentino


“WILL YOU TAKE ME AS I AM? WILL YOU?” – Joni Mitchell……and Cheryl Strayed

 Before you enter the world of Cheryl Strayed’s WILD, what you THINK you are getting yourself into is a world of “Woman Versus Nature”. WILD is the exact opposite of that. It is the story of “Woman WITH Nature”. Cheryl isn’t on a quest to “find herself”. She is on a quest to “walk [her]self back to the woman [her]mother thought [she]was.” In 1995, Cheryl decided to hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail alone, as a way to heal herself following her divorce, the death of her mother, and years of reckless & destructive behavior. It’s not an escape. It’s the opposite actually. It’s a journey back into herself…a way of finding her way back to her strength.

Reese Witherspoon says it best, “Women are dynamic, and interesting, and complex”. She brings those same nuances to Cheryl Strayed. And Tessa Marie brings a similar complexity to her sparkling vermentino. What you are going to get here is a winning combination of feminism and exposure.

“IF YOUR NERVE, DENY YOU – GO ABOVE YOUR NERVE – Emily Dickinson….and Cheryl Strayed


 Elyssa Phillips

Elyssa would like to send a thanks to Tessa Marie Parker from Tessa Marie Wines for their generosity, and overall good taste in wines. She would also like to thank Michael Consbruck and the gang at V Wine Room for their hospitality, knowledge, enthusiasm, and general bad-ass nature. You can find Tessa Marie’s Sparkling Vermentino both by the glass and by the bottle at V Wine Room, 903 Westbourne Drive, West Hollywood (310) 339-9202. Tessa Marie Wines

Elyssa Phillips

About Elyssa Phillips

A native New Yorker, Elyssa has been acting since the age of 5 (she still owns the red dress with the black bow from when she played Annie at the age of 6). After studying at the British American Drama Academy in England, and graduating from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Elyssa spent her time performing around the country in various theatrical productions....from Shakespeare's "As You Like It" and "Measure For Measure", to the long-running improvisational comedies "Tony 'n Tina's Wedding" and "Shear Madness"...with some other tricks of her trade along the way. Elyssa is a house performer, writer, and producer at The Pack Theater in Hollywood. Her most recent TV credits include "Silicon Valley" and "The Mindy Project".