Sorry this is hitting the proverbial stands a little late, but it was a whirlwind of a weekend. Hopefully you all took advantage of this Memorial Day weekend and got out and about. I was fortunate enough to have my 17-year-old son drive up from Oregon for a few days to celebrate. With him and my wife in tow, we saw a couple of movies, hiked over 5 miles in the Quinault National Forest, and ran/walked over 6 miles in the DuPont, WA, Wear Blue to Remember event on Monday.

There wasn’t much down time, but we did squeeze in a movie… after we saw a couple of movies.

THE MOVIE: Krampus (2015)

I probably should hold off on this review for another 5 or 6 months, but Krampus recently came out on video and my son hadn’t seen it.

Krampus got a pretty brutal lashing from the trolls when it came out in theaters. I honestly don’t know what people expected; perhaps a movie on par with The Exorcist or A Nightmare on Elm Street, whatever your favorite scary movie, which it clearly wasn’t advertised as being (cough-the Gallows-cough-gag). I knew exactly what I was getting into from the trailer and the fact that it was written in part by Michael Dougherty (the genius who brought us Trick r Treat). If I had to compare it to another movie, I would say it’s like a Christmas-themed Cabin in the Woods.

If you haven’t seen this movie, and I highly recommend you pick up a copy to break up the A Christmas Story marathon, it’s a story of a highly dysfunctional family in the suburbs who have to spend Christmas together because that’s what families do. If you think that premise is unrealistic, I challenge you to enjoy one of my family get-togethers (sorry, mom). Enter the one kid in the family who is a true believer in Christmas. When his cousins bully and publicly shame him for believing, he tears up his letter to Santa and wishes for them all to be taken away. Little does he know that his wish is granted, unleashing Krampus and his minions upon the family as a massive snow storm isolates them.

This is a great movie with rock-solid storytelling, a few jump-scares, a creepy atmosphere, and loads of laughs. If you like movies like What We Do in the Shadows, Trick r Treat, Gremlins, or Cabin in the Woods (creepy funny movies), this one is for you.

THE WINE:

Casalino Chianti Classico 2009 (Italy)

About $14 a bottle.

After an afternoon of movie-going, we weren’t really in the mood to make anything so pizza it was. Not just any pizza, but MOD Pizza in Lacey, WA (http://modpizza.com/locations/lacey-summerwalk/) where made up out personal brick oven pizza. I know what you are thinking and the wine snobs out there would probably sooner drink Mad Dog 20/20 than drink a good wine with pizza. To that I say, “It was yummy,” and give my best impression of Judd Nelson walking away with his fist in the air at the end of Breakfast Club.

The wine was a perfect match for a tomato-based pizza with jalapeno chicken, garlic and basil. Had I added extra garlic I’d be talking about a Zinfandel. A good Chianti is fruit forward and somewhat dry (man do I miss Tuscany!). This medium-bodied dry red had lush, tart cherry flavors and subtle spice on the backend (not overpowering) with plenty of character to go around.

If you want to impress a date without breaking the bank, you could do worse than adding this wine to spruce up an ordinary meal.

Chianti: It’s not just for pairing with liver and fava beans.

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