Pairing Wine With 1980s Action TV Shows Moonlighting


Moonlighting was not my favorite show of the decade. Had to be said. However, my wife loved it. I promised her that I’d include it in this series, and I don’t break promises.

Running for five season from 1985 until 1989, Moonlighting followed the private detective adventures of Maddie Hayes (Cybill Shepherd) and David Addison (Bruce Willis), and was Willis' first major role anywhere. While it certainly had action-packed moments, the show is probably best known for being one of the world’s first “dramedies,” or drama-comedies.

Jesus, look at all the hair on Bruce Willis' head!

Maddie Hayes is a recently-down-on-her-luck former model, whose accountant has embezzled all her money. The Blue Moon Detective Agency is one of her tax-shelter businesses, and at the prodding of David (the agency’s “manager”) she decides to keep it running and actually try to run it as a real detective outfit.

David and Maddie spend most of each episode locked in sexual tension and cracking wise to break it. Maddie is a bit naive, and refined. David is reckless, charming, and a bit on the crazy side. It all worked quite well together.

And the theme song was classic Al Jarreau.

So much hair!

So, what to pair with this meeting of opposites? What to pair with Maddie’s refinement, and David’s party-boy attitude?

How about pinot noir?

Pinot noir, famously, has at least two personalities. One is the refined, complex, subtle flavors of the Burgundy region of France, which made pinot noir famous. The other is a fruit-forward, fun, big flavor party side, found more readily in California and Oregon.

Both are delicious, and you’ll find rabid pinot fans of each style.

So crack open that Moonlighting Season 1 DVD, and a bottle of your favorite pinot noir—whichever style you prefer—and enjoy. You can’t go wrong.

Some pinot noirs I can heartily recommend:

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