Wine is an essential beverage of any respectable Westerosi household. The Wine of Game of Thrones and/or A Song of Ice and Fire are made in warm climates like Dorn or the Arbor, but are famously enjoyed by everyone from the Lannisters to the Tyrells, to the elite of Vaes Dothrak. Wine often figures prominently in the plot of both the books and the series – King Robert attempts to kill Daenerys with poisoned wine by way of a seemingly harmless market vendor, and ironically meets his own death the same way at the hands of his wife. His son later paid the same price with the wine at his wedding. And let’s not forget that Tyrion, the god of tits and wine himself, is at his most quotable while intoxicated.
Since wine, unlike dragons, are very easy to come by in our own world, it’s a lot of fun to try and capture the Game of Thrones experience by getting a real world bottle that’s as close to Westerosi wine as possible. Vinepair.com has picked out a few types they feel are very close matches to the vintages the Red Keep sommalier keeps stocked for the thirsty Lannisters.
Throughout her wedding ceremony, Daenerys sits in her wedding silks, talking silently to herself and sipping on honeyed wine to help get her through the ordeal. Of course, honeyed wine would be mead. It’s likely that the very young Daenerys would have preferred sweet mead, so to get as close to that as possible, try Schramm’s. It’s likely available in your area, and is considered by many to be the mead that kickstarted the American mead industry.
According to Vinepair, the closest thing to Arbor Gold is a Sauterne. Arbor Gold is known throughout the Seven Kingdoms as being the finest and most delicious of all wine, and is typically associated with the ruling upper class. Sauternes would be our real world equivalents. Made in the Bordeaux region of France by grapes affected by noble rot (which is way more delicious than it sounds), it was Napoleon’s wine of choice and is very often considered the tastiest wine in the world. As one might guess, Chateau d’Yquem Sauternes fetches thousands of dollars a bottle. It starts out yellow when it’s young and ages into a rich gold.
Dornish Sour Reds
There’s no real world equivalent of a sour wine, so Vinepair instead found a high acidity wine that makes drinkers pucker up. Similarly disarming and delicious, Nebbiolo from Piedmont, Italy would be a close match. Made from Barolo and Barberesco grapes that traditionally go into wine made for kings and queens. The strong wine smells of roses and violets, making it perfect for the Tyrells, who hail from Dorne.
Sweet Reds from the Reach
These sweet red wines from the Reach, made from grapes grown in the Arbor, are lower in quality but nonetheless drinkable and delicious. They would come from a similar climate to the fertile parts of California where jug wine is made, especially the Central Valley, where the grapes aren’t under stress, enjoy long summers, and yield sweet, sugary, inexpensive wine. Sounds like Carlo Rossi to me!
Had any wines lately that made you feel like the ruler of the Seven Kingdoms? Tell us in the comments.