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Ms. At The Movies: Pairing Women & Wine With Females & Flicks – May 2015




– Elsa (“Frozen”)

There has been much talk lately about women in the entertainment industry. Or in actuality, lack thereof. The ACLU recently made news when it publicly asked for state and federal agencies to investigate what it calls “the widespread exclusion of women directors from employment in directing episodic television and feature films.” The call to action also states that in 2014, women were only 7% of directors on the top 250 grossing films. And to add insult to injury, that number is 2 percentage points LOWER than it was in 1998.

So while I don’t want to take a feminist approach here – something has to change. Something has to happen. And it wouldn’t surprise me at all if the powers that be at Disney are just the people to do it.


June’s Movie: “FROZEN”                                                      Frozen

At first glance, “FROZEN” seems to be another Disney princess film. But here, the love between two sisters takes precedence over any man. And despite being the 53rd film from Disney Animation Studios, director Jennifer Lee is the first woman to direct a full-length Disney animated feature film. Any doubt once had as to whether or not a female can “man the reins” of a full-length Disney feature were squashed once “FROZEN” managed to become the highest grossing animated film ever and winner of almost every award it was nominated for, including the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

Clearly this film needs a wine equally as bold….equally as daring…equally willing to defy all previous gender bias notions.

Enter…. the 2010 Domaine Weinbach Riesling Cuvee Sainte Catherine.


                                                    2010 Domaine Weinbach Riesling Cuvee Sainte Catherine


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Domaine Weinbach is unquestionably one of the greatest wineries in the world. It’s ideal locale in Alsace aside, it’s famous not only for its wines, but also for the fact that it is run entirely by women, as Colette Faller was joined by her daughters Laurence and Catherine. Despite the intensely chauvinistic culture of rural Alsace, the Faller women have gone on to become some of the most famous white wine producers in France. After matriarch Colette’s husband passed away, her neighbors gave her 6 months before they were convinced she’d be forced to sell her vineyards. They eagerly awaited her collapse. “Man”, were they wrong. After the sudden passing of eldest daughter Laurence, followed by the passing of Colette herself, the winery has continued to be at the forefront of Burdundian-style Alsatian wine.

So what does all this mean?!

Simple. While watching the power of sisterhood in “FROZEN”, start sipping lady Weinbach’s Riesling Cuvee Sainte Catherine. Similar to what Lee does in this movie, this wine is beautifully expressive and quite powerful, combining lime and citrus notes with a honeyed richness and a dash of spiciness. The wine has layered notes of ripe apple, green melon, and anise. It’s racy acidity should also help you keep up with that OTHER princess in “FROZEN”, Princess Anna – quite possibly the first Disney princess to have a little gas under that corset of hers.

With filmmakers like Jennifer Lee and winemakers like Colette Faller leading the way, female presence in entertainment and enology is only going to grow. Cheers to that ACLU.


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".