July 29, 2012

Secret World

I loved Hayao Miyazaki’s animated film Ponyo from a few years back. It’s the little mermaid story, fantastical, the ocean coming alive in a way you could only dream. It’s a “kids movie” but like all Miyazaki films, it’s not just for kids.

Given how much I liked Ponyo, I’m surprised that I didn’t realize there was a new Miyazaki film. The Secret World of Arrietty was already in second run when I took the kids to it some weeks back. It’s not Miyazaki exactly, but from his studio, written by the old man and directed by one of his acolytes. Secret World is the story of the borrowers, mythic little people who borrow trivial things in the night from the “big” people’s cupboards.

If you remember from my vinous distraction during Midnight in Paris, you can understand that I was momentarily taken away from my suspension of disbelief when the title character, a borrower daughter, rushes into her family’s little home beneath the floorboards past assorted big people things. Among them is a wine bottle with a colorful label I recognized as a southern French rosé.

The name escaped me, but I remembered that it had roses on the label and a quick image search helped me make the match. Ch. Coupe Roses from Minervois, in France’s expansive Languedoc region along the Mediterranean. I thought it would be fun to find the wine and see if it’s any good, or if the illustrator included it simply for its pretty label. Probably the latter, but perhaps not. This movie like all Miyazaki movies is about love, and rosé is in my opinion the purest expression of love in still table wine. Perhaps that opinion is shared?

Coupe Roses might be available in Portland but I couldn’t find it with what little free time I have lately. Then on a recent trip to Texas, there it was when I least expected it at Austin Wine Merchant (incidentally, that shop is vastly improved since my visit some years back – check it out). With temperatures near 100F, it was a perfect time for French rosé, so I made my purchase.

The 2011 Ch. Coupe Roses Minervois Rosé was delicious. Not special, perhaps a touch darker than I prefer my rosé, that greater extraction seemingly giving more black cherry flavors than the pure, crystalline notes of more pale pink wine. But it was delicious on a hot afternoon, and a lovely reminder of this sweet film.

There's a moment in Secret World that struck me particularly well. Arrietty has done the unthinkable and been seen by a big person, Sean, even befriending him in a way. Their connection is limited, and when he writes a simple note when she regrettably drops a sugar cube on her first borrowing, it seems that much more significant. The phrase – “you forgot something” – sticks with me.

I won't tell you how Secret World ends. It's different from Ponyo, but similarly a most unusual love story that complements the earlier film, perhaps less fictional. Check it out if that sounds intriguing. I’ll watch it again, and not just because the kids want to.


Coupe-Roses said...

Hi !

Just to say, I am the producer's son, of Chateau Coupe-Roses I mean, and in a few years I will be the producer as well.

So just want to thank you for this note, it's a pleasure to see that you liked our wine !

Just a little mistake, the wine in the movie is not rosé wine ! It's actually white wine, "Champ du Roy". If you look at the trailer, you can see the word "roy" on the bottle.

But it's very pleasant to see that you made the discover, and look forward to find this wine !

Thank you :)

Vincent Fritzsche said...

Wow, thanks for finding the post and adding the information on the wine in the movie. Do you have any idea how they used your bottle? I thought it was a nice little detail.

But I have a dilemma. I have some of your red wine, I found this rose when traveling, but I don't think I've ever seen the white. I'd love to try it. Any ideas if it makes it to the US?