When Shannon first urged me to watch "Game of Thrones" earlier this year, I balked, citing dragons, castles, swords, potential magic, violence and a whole bunch of other things I thought I didn't like.
Turns out, I still have to watch with my hands splayed in front of my face during the violent scenes ("Tell me when it's safe to look!"), but otherwise, I'm now obsessed with this show on a level that's bordering on unhealthy. We binge watched the first five seasons in record time; now, we're counting down to the Season 6 premiere on April 24.
Of course, that begs the question, which wine to drink while watching? For all of you fellow GoT fans, here's my MBTB Tasting Room guide to choosing a libation for the occasion.
If you're a fan of House Stark ...
Domaine Berrien Cellars Wolf's Prairie Red
$14, available at MBTB Shelby & MBTB Royal Oak
Because the Stark sigil is a dire wolf, duh. This softer red has fruity aromas with campfire smokiness, dark cherry, plum and spice on the palate, and a lingering finish.
If you're a fan of Tyrion Lannister ...
Chateau Aeronautique Naked Chardonnay
$19.95, available at MBTB Shelby & MBTB Royal Oak
This wine makes us think of Tyrion in his good ol' days, when he was carefree and cavorting with ladies of the night. Perhaps he would use this pleasant summer sipper to woo them? It has a golden apple nose and flavors of underripe peach, orange peel and fresh cantaloupe, with flinty minerality.
If you're a fan of Cersei Lannister ...
Sandhill Crane Vineyards Revenge of the Living Red
$17.95, available at MBTB Shelby & MBTB Royal Oak
The name says it all: Cersei is undoubtedly going to unleash her wrath on the High Sparrow and his minions in Season 6 as she seeks revenge for the imprisonment and "walk of shame" she endured last season. This semi-sweet red is spiced with cinnamon, cloves, orange peel, nutmeg and vanilla and infused with estate-grown hot peppers for an extra kick. Though revenge is a dish best served cold, this wine is particularly tasty when warmed up in the crockpot, a la a mulled wine.
If you're a fan of Jaime Lannister ...
Chateau Aeronautique Aviatrix Passion
$16.95, available at MBTB Shelby
The object of his affection is beyond unfortunate ... but you can't dispute the depth of his passion. This Late Harvest Vidal Blanc is infused with cranberry for tantalizing tartness and flirty sweetness.
If you're a fan of Daenerys Targaryen ...
Domaine Berrien Cellars White Satin
$13, available at MBTB Shelby & MBTB Royal Oak
Daenerys' silky, white-blonde hair immediately made us think of this wine, which is a satiny smooth semi-sweet blend of Seyval Blanc, Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris.
If you're a fan of Jorah Mormont ...
Chateau de Leelanau Muse
$30, available at MBTB Shelby & MBTB Royal Oak
The Mother of Dragons has been a muse for poor, lovesick Jorah Mormont since Season 1. Will this guy's determination to prove his devotion ever get him any love from Daenerys? Seeing as it's "Game of Thrones," we highly doubt it. This lightly sweet, lightly sparkling wine is delicate and bright, just like Jorah's muse.
If you're a fan of Littlefinger ...
Verterra Winery Chaos White Cuvee
$16, available at MBTB Shelby & MBTB Royal Oak
Littlefinger's entire life revolves around stirring the pot for his own selfish pursuits, leaving ruin in his wake. He's got a stone cold heart (except when it comes to Catelyn Stark, that is), a sharp wit and an acid tongue. For Littlefinger, the Chaos White seems appropriate. This semi-dry white blend has apricot, apple and minerality on the nose, with ripe fruit flavors and nice acidity.
If you're a fan of Jon Snow ...
Chateau Aeronautique Vidal Blanc Ice Wine
$44.95, available at MBTB Shelby
Alive? Dead? All we know is this dude has not gotten to spend any time in the sun for this entire series — hence the ICE wine. This delicious dessert wine is made in the traditional ice wine style and is bursting with tropical fruit flavors. (You know, the kinds of tropical fruit Jon will likely never taste in person.)
If you're a fan of Margaery and House Tyrell ...
Verterra Winery Rosé of Pinot Noir
$19, available at MBTB Shelby & MBTB Royal Oak
Light and luminous, like Margaery — and also, one accent mark away from matching the Tyrells' sigil, the rose. This dry rosé is vibrant and juicy fruit on the palate, with strawberries and cherries on the nose and a smooth, dry finish.
If you're a fan of Melisandre, the red priestess ...
Verterra Winery Chaos Red Cuvee
2013 vintage, $17, available at MBTB Royal Oak
2014 vintage, $19, available at MBTB Shelby
Oh, that Melisandre, wreaking havoc wherever she goes. Chaos Red is a natural fit for her. This medium-bodied red blend is full of berry flavors with a subtle oak undertone and light tannins. The 2013 vintage is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Chambourcin and Pinot Noir, with a little bit of sweetness; the 2014 vintage is drier, comprised mostly of Merlot and Malbec.
If you're a fan of Joffrey ...
Chateau Aeronautique Aviatrix Crimson
$29.95, available at MBTB Shelby & MBTB Royal Oak
Yeah, yeah, we know, he's long dead, but we miss hating him. Crimson seems appropriate, since he pretty much left the streets stained with blood wherever he went. This big Bordeaux-style blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon has rich red and black fruit on the palate with French oak influence.
If you're a fan of Brienne of Tarth ...
Peninsula Cellars Old School White
$16.99, available at MBTB Shelby
Brienne's undying loyalty to her masters (for as long as they're alive, that is) is totally old school. And her beyond-pale complexion pointed us toward OS White vs. OS Red. This semi-sweet white blend of Cayuga, Riesling, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Grigio is light, bright, and fruity.