“BEHIND EVERY SUCCESSFUL WOMAN IS HERSELF.” – Anonymous
Greetings fellow female winos! For the past couple of months, I have been focusing on the most recent Oscar-buzzed ladies, their respective Oscar-winning films, and the perfect wines to drink while watching them. For this month, I wanted to bring it back to the first Oscar moment. Sadly, it wasn’t all too long ago. But if you can remember way back to 2010, you’ll remember this moment:
…Kathryn Bigelow winning Best Director at the 2010 Academy Awards as the first ever female recipient was clearly a historical moment. But for her, it was still about telling the story truthfully.
THE HURT LOCKER is a 2008 American war film about a three-man bomb disposal team during the Iraq War. The film, however, doesn’t concern itself with the politics of the war, but rather with the visceral experiences of the soldiers who fight the war. Tension is derived from a combination of the characters’ internal conflicts with innovative cinematography and slow-moving action sequences. It’s hard to believe that Bigelow would dedicate her bodies of work to genres that are typically made by, for, and about men. Listen to Bigelow for a while, though, and you’ll soon realize that all the critics and nay-sayers out there are missing the point. She is far more interested in talking about the look of THE HURT LOCKER; how many cameras she used; the way she storyboarded each scene; translating the space from three dimensions to two in her mind; the effort she took to make sure the bomb explosions appeared authentic, and not like what she calls HMEs (industry-speak for Hollywood movie explosions). What we as an audience are left with is an unapologetic film from an unapologetic woman.
Tara Gomez has been fascinated with winemaking since she was a little girl. After being one of only two women to earn a Bachelor of Science in Enology from Fresno’s Cal State University, Tara went on to become a hands-on enologist at several west coast wineries before traveling around Europe, honing her own winemaking skills.
At KITA WINERY, located in the heart of the Santa Ynez Valley in Santa Barbara County, she is dedicated to producing wines in the most sustainable way. Kitá means “Our Valley Oak” in the Chumash Tribe native language of Samala. As the one and only female Native American winemaker in the U.S., Tara focuses on respecting the balance of soil, climate, location, and taste. In her own words, “In winemaking, you can do everything you can, but you still have to consider the influence of Mother Nature….You never know what nature is going to give you. For other winemakers, that may be stressful, but that’s what I enjoy.” Her Chumash culture can be seen in her dedication to the vineyard, something definitely noticeable when tasting her 2011 Syrah Reserve.
I chose the 2011 Syrah Reserve to sip on while watching THE HURT LOCKER for its unapologetic juxtapositions in both flavor and structure. This deep ruby-colored wine opens with aromas of sweet tobacco, vanilla, and spice, only to transform into a full-bodied elegant expression of a deeply complex red wine. The palate displays dark cherries, chocolate & espresso, while leaving you with a long and sophisticated finish of silky tannins. Both feminine and ballsy, all at the same time.
Kind of like Ms. Bigelow – both feminine and ballsy, all at the same time. Not bad, eh?
“IF THERE’S SPECIFIC RESISTANCE TO WOMEN MAKING MOVIES, I JUST CHOSE TO IGNORE THAT AS AN OBSTACLE FOR TWO REASONS: I CAN’T CHANGE MY GENDER, AND I REFUSE TO STOP MAKING MOVIES.” – Kathryn Bigelow
– Elyssa Phillips