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mad men wine: huge changes

We had 15 minutes left of the 2-hour premiere and wine hadn’t even been mentioned. Blue cocktails in Hawaii, vodka guzzling at work, puking up Old Fashioned’s at funerals. I was convinced that the opening scene with Don reading The Inferno was Matthew Weiner’s way of telling me to abandon all hope that anyone would drink wine ever again on this show. And then it happened: one of the grapefriendiest scenes EVER.mad men wine

Don and Megan were having two couples over on New Year’s and they were all drinking a bottle of red with their fondue. From the sloping shoulders of the bottle, we can infer it was a Burgundy (Pinot Noir) though absolutely nothing else was detectable (and you know I rewound a few times to check).

Now, we’d expect our Official Mad Men Grapefriend Megan to be going for the grape – we saw her penchant for wine all last season, as well as her French parents’ grape love (they taught her well).megan mad men wine

But we also had these people drinking wine:mad men wine

And these people:mad men wine linda cardellini

And then, in a moment to end all moments, DON DRANK WINE!!! And looked happy about it!!!don draper drinking wine

Now, I only started the Mad Men wine count last season so I don’t have the official count on how many times Don drank wine in the first four seasons, but it was LOW. I went back through a few shots and thought maybe he would have at this dinner party, but no:don draper dinner cocktail

He didn’t have any in California either (you can’t see the color behind his hand but it’s a cocktail glass):don draper wine california

Then I found this one – but look at his face as he drinks the wine – classic!don draper wine mad men

Anyway, I think Season 6 might be his time. It takes place in 1968, which marked the third vintage of Robert Mondavi, one of Napa’s pioneers. There were probably a handful of wineries that existed then, and in the late 60s and early 70s they really started to get make some headway. 1976 is widely marked as the year American wine had arrived, since a California wine beat a French wine in a huge blind tasting called the Judgment of Paris (it’s in the move Bottle Shock if you’ve seen it).

Anyway, if Season 6 is going to be all about death (which symbolically can also just mean death of a phase of life and the start of a new one) then Don could really move into wine. He’s primed for the French wines that were what was basically available in the US in 1968, and he’s made some big headway in the very first episode of the season (puked form his usual cocktail, but smiled while drinking wine). Let’s do this, Matty.

Mad Men season 6 wine count: 6

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6 thoughts on “mad men wine: huge changes

  1. Very insightful! I would have never considered this theme, but it’s definitely there. I shared your blog with my husband, I think he’ll love this. :)

  2. Pingback: Happiness | picturemypoetry

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