It’s time to head back to school and for the Hogwarts students that means being on platform 9 and ¾ at Kings Cross station for 11am on 1 September. If the Sorting Hat were a sommelier, what drinks would it choose for the houses? While there is not a book called Harry Potter and the Goblet of Wine, we have taken it upon ourselves to answer this question for the adults in the muggle world. So, join us on a magical journey as we take the Hogwarts Express to the Scottish Highlands.
We couldn’t start anywhere else but Harry Potter’s own Hogwarts house. Known for being brave, bold and daring, it is no surprise that Harry Potter ended up in this house. Throughout the books and films, he puts caution to the wind and enters dangerous situations willingly like in the Chamber of Secrets when he goes to rescue Ginny. Gryffindor students are also chivalrous, loyal and courageous. Think about the way Nevil Longbottom tries to stop the Golden Trio in the Philosopher’s Stone, it takes a lot of courage to stand up to your friends as Dumbledore said. So, if we were going to choose a wine that would represent this house, it’d have to be Château Pontet-Canet or Château Dauzac. These bold Bordeaux wines are produced by châteaux that had no qualms about turning to daring biodynamic practices.
Professor McGonagall leads the Gryffindor house. This strong, bold, resolute teacher needs a wine that reflects all these qualities. We couldn’t stray away from Bordeaux here and would choose a Chateau Haut-Brion. This wine’s intensity would match one of McGonagall’s stares any day and its velvetiness mirrors her more affectionate side like when she bought Harry a Nimbus 2000 to play Quidditch.
The hero of the series, as we know, is brave, daring and loyal, so loyal in fact that he manages to summon Fawkes the Pheonix in the Chamber of Secrets for jumping to Dumbledore’s defence. Harry Potter is emblematic of everything that a Gryffindor is and so we have to choose a red for him. The strength and robustness of the Richebourg Grand Cru from Domaine Méo-Camuzet is perfect for The Chosen One, echoing his charm and richness of character.
Ron Weasley is loyal, deep and chivalrous. Why else do you think he’d take the knight in the Philosopher’s Stone? To match these qualities, we had to search high and low for a suitable wine and we think we found it in the Vin De France Underground Orange Velvet from Domaine la Ferme des Sept Lunes. Okay, yes, we took the easy option and chose an orange wine. But there is more than one reason for selecting this bottle. It’s as complex as Ron himself is with sweet notes of honey and tropical fruits.
As we all know, Hermione Granger is the brightest witch of her age and likes to spend her time reading books and furthering her knowledge. So, we looked for a wine that would suit her studious side but that also reflected her bravery. The Beaune Clos Des Renardes by Fanny Sabre, an up-and-coming Burgundian winemaker, is just the ticket. The golden Chardonnay reflects the golden lion on the Gryffindor shield and the courageous heart that Hermonie has.
Ahh Slytherin, the universally infamous house that was once home to a dark wizard so feared that we mustn’t even utter his him. Those sorted into the Slytherin value ambition, cunning, leadership and resourcefulness above all else. While these virtues may not seem so bad on the surface, unfortunately, Slytherin has managed to produce quite a few notable villains over the years. For a house with a reputation for dark wizards, we can’t help but recommend wines that present dark colours and dark fruit flavours. With that in mind, we have gone for the Clare Valley Shiraz The Armagh from Jim Barry for the Slytherin house.
By the time Harry Potter is born, Lord Voldemort had already become the most infamous Slytherin of all time. He is the ultimate manifestation of evil, spending his entire life consumed by his hatred for a class of people – mudbloods – and in the pursuit of immortality, a feat which he briefly achieves by way of horcruxes. This relentless pursuit of immortality is what initially inspired our Voldemort-themed wine recommendation, Port. Though they admittedly lack his penchant for world domination, Port and Lord Voldemort actually have a lot in common. Powerful and intense, these wines often carry an alcohol content of around 20% ABV, which allows them to be aged for enormous amounts of time without spoiling. In other words, Port is nearly immortal. Also, Port comes from one of the oldest appellations in the world (Douro), therefore, they can totally understand Voldemort’s admiration for heritage. Harry Potter fans looking for a Port to honour Lord Voldemort should look no further than this 10 Year Tawny Port by Niepoort. Its immense finish is not unlike the crescendo of Voldemort’s life, whose defeat at the hands of Harry Potter finally put an end to his reign of terror.
Professor Snape is perhaps the most complex character ever sorted into Slytherin. His fierce dedication to both the memory of Harry Potter’s mother Lilly and Albus Dumbledore remains a guiding light as he navigates his high-risk career as a spy and double agent. Such dedication calls to mind the interesting history of Beaujolais and its devotion to a historically shunned grape variety, Gamay. The variety was outlawed from Burgundy by decree of Phillippe the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, who favoured the more “elegant” Pinot Noir. As fate would have it, the newly abandoned grape would quickly find a new home in neighbouring Beaujolais. Much like Professor Snape, Gamay simply took a little longer to find its true purpose in life, but we’re all very happy it did. To honour a great double-agent like Professor Snape, fans of the series will need wines as different as his perceived allegiances. Therefore, we suggest that readers check out the powerful 2020 Moulin à Vent by Philippe Pacelet as well as the light-bodied, forgiving Fleurie Avalanche de Printemps by Marc Delienne.
Draco Malfoy is right behind Harry Potter throughout their time at Hogwarts, ready with an insult or a taunt at every turn. Their rivalry seems to come to a head every year but by the time the come to the end of their time at the wizarding school, they have become frenemies. To reflect the sharpness of Draco’s words, we needed to find a wine with plenty of citrus fruit flavours and minerality and we found that in Markus Molitor’s Riesling Alte Reben Saar.
The Ravenclaw house is known for its student’s intelligence, creativity and wit. You only have to think of how Luna Lovegood expresses herself through her clothing or her bedroom as described in the Deathly Hallows or how Cho Chang tails Harry on the Quidditch pitch on the hunt for the snitch. Due to the frequency that Ravenclaw students think outside the box, we put ourselves in their shoes while searching for a wine that would emulate all their characteristics. The innovative work and creativity that goes into conjuring the Vin de France La Carbonnode by the Bret Brothers does just that. Not to mention the fact that it’s an orange wine, a type of wine that is created using ancient techniques, requiring research, and lies outside of appellation rules in France.
Professor Flitwick’s lessons really add the magic and charm to Hogwarts. They are also the setting for maybe one of the most quoted phrases in the whole series. I’m sure we all remember “It’s leviOsa, not leviosA”. It’s no wonder that he is the head of the Ravenclaw house with his incredible skill, producing intricate charm spells, and allowing his creative side to show by leading the school choir. For Professor Flitwick, we have chosen the cider Transparente from Cidrerie du Vulcain because of its lightness and charming bubbles, reminiscent of his warm, open nature. Another reason for choosing this cider is that the producer has succeeded in adding magic to a drink that isn’t necessarily considered noble and has created something exquisite.
Luna Lovegood stands out in the Harry Potter series for her creativity and alternative thinking. She helped Harry Potter on numerous occasions, like when hunting Horcruxes at Hogwarts, thanks to her ability to take a step back and evaluate situations. To find a wine that perfectly summaries Luna will be difficult, but we believe we have a contender with the Pouilly-Fuissé Léandre L’homme Lion from Domaine Les Vignes Du Maynes. Its liveliness and white fruit and floral aromas capture Luna’s softer side, but her determination is mirrored by the fact that this is a natural wine. Bonus points go to the lion on the label which looks like the lion’s head Luna made to cheer on the Gryffindor quidditch team.
Embodying the values of hard work, patience, justice, and loyalty, Hufflepuff is a house that everyone can root for. The house is named after Helga Hufflepuff who was particularly well-regarded for her inclusivity. Examples of this range from her rejection of Salazar Slytherin’s proposal to ban muggle-born students to her refusal to identify ‘special students’ within her house, as the other founders did. In honour of Helga’s penchant for inclusivity, we think the perfect Hufflepuff wines would be those that are a little off the beaten path, from appellations or producers that aren’t so widely recognised just yet. With this concept as our guiding light, we recommend that readers take a peek at Château Tour Des Gendres’ Moulin des Dames from Bergerac.
Well known for her iconic Mandrake scene in the second film, Professor Sprout is the school’s herbology professor. In addition to her skills in the greenhouse, she is devoutly committed to education and standing up for what is right, as she leads the initial opposition to Delores Umbridge. To honour both her talent for herbs and her yearning for justice, we can’t help but recommend a biodynamic wine. We have Domaine Arlaud’s Premier Cru Les Blanchard. Domaine Arlaud has been certified organic and biodynamic for nearly a decade now. Professor Sprout would be proud of this complex and paradoxical sensory wine with mature black fruits and sharp minerality.
While competing in the Triwizard Tournament, Cedric Diggory meets an unfortunate end. Although his life was cut short by Lord Voldemort and Peter Pettigrew, his legacy survives. The concept that someone’s unforgettable cultural impact could leave behind generations of intrigue is not at all foreign in the world of wine. Some winemakers have given so much to their craft that their cuvées become even more legendary once they’ve passed on. Therefore, to honour those whose legacy has well outlived their time on earth, we recommend picking up a mature vintage Henri Jayer. Jayer was a maverick Burgundian winemaker whose wines are still incredibly popular and well-regarded, even though his final vintage was 2001.
And now the next time you’d like to enjoy Harry Potter as an adult, you have a few ideas of what to pair with your marathon, whether that is reading the books or watching the films. We hope you had as much fun reading this article as we did writing it! Any trip to the wizarding world of Harry Potter adds a touch of magic to your day. ✨