Movie & a wine – Back to the Future: Part III & perhaps the weirdest wine pairing in history

My good buddy Cody Thompson, of ThreeBZine.com, and some friends of his — Dr. Gonzalo Quintero of Craft Beer Tasters LLC and Eugene Abano of Reviews Galore — have been doing something a little out of the ordinary with their respective websites (visit the links to catch up): They take movies they know (love?) and pair them with their drink of choice. For Doctor Q and Codester, it’s craft beer; for Mr. Abano, it’s soda — and for me, it’s gotta be wine. Also joining in the fun today are ZachNorris.Tumblr.com and Wu-E.com. Check ’em out – and get back to my drivel down below this kick ass poster.


Cinematic gold.

My “real” wine writing can be found on San Diego CityBeat’s website here, but in the spirit of all things zany I picked a rather odd wine to pair with Back to the Future: Part III.

Based on my lukewarm expectation for the movie and the nickname of character, Buford “Mad Dog” Tannen, I picked a wine my father has warned me about for as long as I can remember. But just as Marty McFly brushes off Dr. Emmet Brown’s many warnings in the BTTF trilogy, I ignored the advice of my parental figure and purchased not one — but two — bottles of Mad Dog 20/20 (now branded as MD 20/20, because apparently acronyms rule.)

Abandon all hope, ye who enter here

Abandon all hope, ye who enter here

The “wine” I bought, if you can even call it that, came in two flavors: Blue “Bling Bling” (no joke) Raspberry and Orange Jubilee. Both were concern-worthy bright in color and purchased for under $10 total.

I turned on the flick and dove in head first while the Mad Dog chilled.

The movie gets right to the point: There’s a problem in the future (er, past) which McFly has come to get Brown’s help with and they once again join forces to right the wrongs in the universe. Or, at least the version of the universe they’re currently fucking with. Brown throws in a “Great Scott!” every 2.5 minutes and we’re on our way.

McFly travels to the old, wild west to help a future version of Brown avoid meeting his maker (because he’s travelled back in time to live as a blacksmith, if that makes any effin’ sense). There are some action sequences, some cheap laughs, and some mind-boggling scenarios even for a time travel flick.

FOR EXAMPLE: Why on god’s green earth would Marty’s paternal great-great grandmother look like his mother? Is this implying some sort of incest in the McFly bloodline? Or have I been watching too much Game of Thrones? I say both.

The plot of the film hinges, not on incest, but on Doc Brown’s debt to “Mad Dog” Tannen and his whirlwind romance with Clara Clayton (played by the always lovely Mary Steenburgen). The combination of which are about to get Brown killed if future Marty weren’t to intervene.

This near-death plot line is where my wine pairing comes in perfectly, or imperfectly, as it were.

I opened the Mad Dog bottles around the time McFly meets his great-great grandfather who somehow doesn’t notice their uncanny resemblance. As I was chuckling at McFly’s moonwalk in the saloon, I took a deep inhalation of the fragrance of the “wines.” The syrupy sweetness of both made me wish I was sniffing the horse manure that appears throughout the film.

I had to taste it next. Just as Steenburgen’s adorable curls sprung up to give the film some much-needed spirit, I took a sip of the not-so-needed flourescent blue spirit in front of me. Its flavor was something I would describe as melted otter pop mixed with rat poison. The Orange Jubilee was slightly better but also tasted like it might kill me. The flavor profile was something like a bad batch of orange juice that someone dropped a chlorine tablet in. I’m missing the chance at an awesome pun about Tannens versus tannins but this ain’t real wine so whatevs. 

When I get my Delorean, I’m gonna take a hoverboard to the face of 2014-me that thought trying this wine was a good idea.

This guy smells better than MD 20/20

This guy smells better than MD 20/20

The Good: Steenburgen. She was pretty much my favorite part. I like how she said “Emmett” with her little twang and she got to say it about 100 times during the movie.

"Oh Emmett!" -- Steenburgen's the tits.

“Oh Emmett!” — Steenburgen’s the tits.

The Bad: The movie is pretty “bad” but entertaining as well. The real bad was the wine — not even worth the novelty of it.

Overall: Next time I want to watch the third installment of a trilogy and drink cheap wine, I’m going with Return of the Jedi and Two Buck Chuck Merlot.

For more interviews, song obsessions, and musical musings with Sounds in San Diego follow along on Facebook or get tweety with us on Twitter.


About Jen Van Tieghem

There aren’t many things I love more than music. While life spins away at a rapid beat I’ve realized it’s important to spend it doing what I love – enjoying music in San Diego. I have a handful of favorite venues, a heart full of favorite bands, and decided to write about it.

6 comments on “Movie & a wine – Back to the Future: Part III & perhaps the weirdest wine pairing in history

  1. This was rad!

    Thanks for joining in on the fun!!

    Dr. Q


  2. I have Eerie Indiana on DVD! I’ve made plans to watch that episode this weekend, hahaha


  3. MD 20/20 was one of my first drinks! I feel like you saved me from trying to revisit that part of my past. 15 year old me was pretty stupid.


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