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Best TV Binge-Watching Wine Pairings

While we’d all like to pretend we only open a good bottle of wine while surrounded by friends and loved ones in an upscale setting that may include uncomfortably high heels, classical music and fancy cheeses on tiny crackers, the truth is a little different. Honestly, most of us would really prefer to open a bottle of Steven Kent Cabernet Sauvignon, get into our Snuggies (yes, some of us still have them–don’t judge) and flip on the tube for some guilty-pleasure viewing at the end of a long day. Is there any greater luxury that also allows you to wear your fat-pants? Here are a few ideas of which wines to enjoy while you get your TV fix.

The Good Wife

The Good Wife – Don’t we all wish we could be Alicia when we grow up? Sure, without the cheating husband and the dead ex-boyfriend, but definitely with all those fabulous, work-appropriate suits. She’s always impeccably put together, and don’t you love the hair? Is there ever a strand out of place? Sip a lovely Mia Nipote Sauvignon Blanc every time she tosses her hair back in that effortlessly graceful way that says she doesn’t even notice how glamorous she is because she’s busy thinking about super PACs and drug-laundering clients and ways to smother that PITA mother-in-law of hers.

Orange is the new black

Orange Is the New Black – Once you’ve seen Poussey chugging her chunky prison booze, you will definitely stop and appreciate your own wine, which comes in a pretty bottle and not a baggie. Seriously, take a good, long sip of your Vasco Urbano Syrah and remind yourself that no matter how bad your week has been or how much you hate your boss, not once did you have to submit to a cavity search. See? Everything’s better!

Downton Abby

Downton Abbey – Yes, we’d all love to have live-in maids and exquisite, hand-stitched dresses, but let’s get real–living on an English estate in the ’20s also meant no Thai food or sushi, green vegetables that were cooked to a flat grey color and itchy underwear. Plus, you know if you had a second glass of Concannon Petite Sirah to wash down a dinner of mushy peas and eel pie, it would be the hot topic downstairs for days. Take a moment to toast the Crawleys, who have gone through so much and done it all without reliable antiperspirant.


Scandal – I would suggest you drink every time Olivia Pope drinks, but there’s a good chance you wouldn’t be functional for a week. Instead, kick back and relax with something light and refreshing, like a Ruby Hill Winery Reserve Chardonnay. Olivia only drinks red, but that’s also how she ended up with an enormous stain on her fabulous white sofa when she got kidnapped. No one wants that, do they?

Real Housewives

The Real Housewives of Wherever – Atlanta, New Jersey, Beverly Hills–aren’t they all pretty much interchangeable? Watch any of the RH shows and you’ll see some fabulous shoes, at least one meltdown per episode, bratty kids wearing age-inappropriate clothing and possibly weave-pulling. Really dig into a RHoWherever marathon by breaking out the good crystal for your glass of Wente Riva Ranch Chardonnay, shaking some truffle salt on your popcorn and keeping a mental tally of all the bad plastic surgery jobs you can spot.

Grey's Anatomy

Grey’s Anatomy – So McDreamy is dead (that is no longer a spoiler so stop whining, people!), and Mer is starting over. Raise a glass of McGrail Vineyards Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon to her as she reinvents herself with two kids, a demanding job and a dating pool largely restricted to people she’s already slept with, would never sleep with and the odd patient here and there. And you thought regular dating in midlife was rough!

Some Kardashiian
Keeping Up with the Kardashians – If you’re watching this, it probably means your remote is broken. There’s a drinking game to be had whenever any of the girls talks in a brain-numbing monotone, but we don’t want to do that to your liver. Instead, remind yourself that you are drinking a classy, tasteful glass of Wood Family Vineyards Zinfandel while these idiots are trying to figure out which new areas of their bodies to wax. Do not under any circumstances think about their vast fortunes being based on a sex tape because the bitter taste that leaves in your mouth may interfere with your enjoyment of the wine.

San Francisco’s Tri-Valley region is made up of Pleasanton, Livermore, Dublin and Danville. Come stay in the sunny side of the Bay. 

By Liane Bonin Starr