Wine and True Crime Pairings

For this article, we teamed up with our friends at Topic streaming to bring you 5 wine and true crime pairings from their streaming platform and the perfect wines to complement your morbid love of all things crime. Topic is a streaming service and a cultural force bringing brilliant treasures unseen and unexpected from around the world into the spotlight. Think of it as a streaming service for curious seekers – they curate unique stories you can’t find anywhere else. And they have a *killer* selection of true crime programs, perfect for spooky Halloween binging. But don’t take our word for it – they’re offering you a 1-month FREE trial of Topic! Simply click here to start your free trial, and keep scrolling for 5 true crime and wine pairings!

We don’t know about you, but we simply cannot get enough true crime. There’s something undeniably compelling about getting a glimpse into the darker side of human nature, and when you pair this popular genre with a great glass of wine, and you’re in for a thrilling evening.

Whether you’re looking for a binge-able true crime series or stand-alone film, Topic has a great selection of narrative and documentary shows and movies.

Don’t let the mystery of how to choose the right wine for your favorite show turn into a cold case. We’ve got you covered with killer wine pairings for these 5 gripping true crime stories.

true crime and wine pairings - Badlands Texas

1. Badlands, Texas

Life is uneventful in Terlingua, TX — population: 58 — until a beloved bar owner is brutally murdered. As the trial unfolds, this tight-knit town begins to unravel, forcing the residents to reevaluate their off-the-grid way of life. This true crime series pairs well with a warm-climate varietal like Cabernet Sauvignon. Bold and full-bodied with notes of dark fruit and vanilla, this red wine thrives in dry heat and is typically grown on hillsides far from city folk. Just like the series, Cabernet goes down easy.

true crime and wine pairings - holy hell

2. Holy Hell

After graduating from college, a young idealist named Will Allen joined a spiritual community filled with like-minded people looking for answers to life’s essential questions. It was there that he encountered the group’s charismatic but secretive guru, Michel Rostand. Pair this groundbreaking documentary with Zinfandel – a bold wine with jammy fruit notes and hints of spice. Just like the film, this smoky red wine will keep you on your toes.

Cabin 5 Zinfandel
Bright Cellars’ Cabin 5 Zinfandel

Our favorite Zin for this true crime documentary is the Cabin 5 Zinfandel. The flavor notes of strawberry, raspberry, pomegranate, and black pepper are the perfect pairing for this documentary.

true crime and wine pairing - the witness

3. The Witness

In 1964, Kitty Genovese was killed outside of her Queens apartment while dozens of people reportedly witnessed the crime and did nothing about it. 40 years later, Kitty’s brother Bill investigates to learn the truth behind the legend. Since this story was widely covered in the press at the time of Kitty’s death, pair this investigative documentary with Riesling – a wine so light you could read a newspaper through it. Plus, Riesling’s bright citrusy notes, slate minerality, and zingy acidity will help keep things light while you delve into this tragic crime.

true crime and wine pairing

4. Southwest of Salem

After being wrongfully convicted of a horrific crime, four Latina lesbians fight to prove their innocence. This gripping documentary pairs well with Petite Sirah, a full-bodied red wine with grippy tannins. Tannins give wine an astringent quality, similar to tea. As the film spills the T on this miscarriage of justice, you’ll notice notes of black tea in your glass of Petite Sirah.

Bright Cellars' Dark Turn Petite Sirah
Bright Cellars’ Dark Turn Petite Sirah

We like to pair this documentary with a glass of the Dark Turn Petite Sirah. This biodynamic wine was made with the moon and has bold flavor notes of plum, black pepper, black raspberry, and blackberry.

True crime and wine pairings

5. An American Crime

Based on a true story, An American Crime centers around Gertrude (played by Catherine Keener), a divorced mother who agrees to take care of two girls whose parents have to leave town. Things start out pleasant, but when the girls’ father stops sending Gertrude payment, her mood sours. Gertrude violently imprisons one of the girls (played Ellen Page) in the basement, turning her into the outlet for all of her anger. Pair this crime horror film with Sauvignon Blanc, a light-bodied white wine with zippy acidity. When you take a sip of Sauvignon blanc, you’ll notice fruity flavors of grapefruit and peach at the start, followed by a slightly bitter finish.

soup and wine pairings
Bright Cellars Hazleaire Sauvignon Blanc

Pair this horrific documentary with a glass of Hazelaire Sauvignon Blanc. This light-bodied wine has flavor notes of lemon zest, green apple, gooseberry, and lemongrass.

In Vino Finito

Need help finding the right wine for your current true crime obsession? Email us at concierge@brightcellars.com and we can help.

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Bright Cellars

Our staff is full of passionate wine lovers. With our amazing sommeliers at the helm, we’ve been schooled on all things wine. We came together to write this article, in hopes of spreading a little wine-ducation with you.

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