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Star Wars & Wine

Last Friday I was scheduled as a guest for a live television segment on the TODAY show. This is not unusual as far as my job goes, but this day was a little different, to say the least. I anticipated the usual educational segment with a splash of fun. We had spent weeks putting together a great spot on cocktails, complete with the bubbly pumpkin cauldron that would be perfect for your Halloween bash. However, when I arrived in the make- up department and was greeted by a sea of storm troopers I almost fainted. If that wasn’t wild enough, there were endless numbers of Ewoks just nonchalantly jumping around. Matt Lauer was Luke Skywalker–who actually resembled Owen Wilson; Hoda was Yoda; and Kathie Lee was C3PO.

If you’re a fan of the TODAY show you know the Halloween bash is one of the biggest shows they put on all year long. Months of planning, secret meetings, and swearing on your life goes into the big reveal of the theme and costumes. This year Lucas films was kind enough to lend the original costumes and parts of the sets from the Star Wars trilogy to help transform studio 1A into a galaxy far, far away. With all of the extras and their handlers (people there to make sure the costumes and characters were kept intact), the additional hair and make-up crew, props, and special effects it was exactly like working on a movie set. Which thrilled me, as that was on my life’s to-do list. Even better was my brush with the real deal Wookiee! Chewbacca assisted as I worked with Yoda and C3PO to give a Halloween cocktail segment real star power. Bearing in mind the costume restrictions of Yoda Hoda- whose hands were transformed to only three fingers–and Kathie Lee, who couldn’t lift her arms in her glamorous gilded armor, we unbelievably made our way through the entire table of treats…except the wine. I’ve mentioned some of the others recently so I’ll only share with you the last sip that got skipped, so you’ll be sure not to skip it yourself.

Ravenswood, Old Vine Zinfandel, Sonoma County, $14- This red is ALWAYS stellar. It’s got the gusto you expect from a big jammy Zin, but it’s also got depth and a lip-smacking finish. When in doubt as to what to buy as a gift or serve at a party, this Zin is a surefire hit. Not to mention Chewy really liked it!

To view the entire TODAY show segment featuring Maureen’s cocktails, click here

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