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A Glass of Chianti

"A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans, and a nice Chianti."
Dr. Hannibal Lecter, The Silence of the Lambs

Many Big Bads, being more high-class than most heroes, like to sip some wine, usually red, while lounging on their throne. This makes them seem refined and worldly, even when relaxing. Heroes and more petty villains go for the more boorish beer, usually because they either can't afford wine or they have no taste for the stuff.

Note that red is seen as a lot more sinister than white wine, due to its Color Coding and general connotations with blood. When a vampire (usually richer and more refined, not one of the biker vamps) drinks red blood from a wine-glass, it invokes much the same imagery, and one can argue that villains drink red wine specifically to invoke the vampiric example.

Villainesses and neutral Femmes Fatales also have the option of sipping white wine and champagne ("girly" wines), and seductively drinking from a tall flute glass and peering through the bubbles at the hero.

Another common variant is the Snifter of Brandy, preferably poured from a snazzy, cut-glass decanter.

If these type of villains suffer a Villainous Breakdown, it's likely that there will be a Dramatic Shattering of that glass of wine as a metaphor for the breakdown.

Subtrope of Wine Is Classy. Wine, especially rare and expensive wine (and the ability to identify vintages of it by sight, smell, and taste), has become a cliche commonly associated with the Grey Poupon set. This can be used to indicate someone is a snob, or simply as a part of the background culture of the story. Further, red wine is more often an acquired taste, possibly hinting that one had the funds to develop it.

It should also be noted that, in certain parts of the world (Australia say, or rural France or Italy), wine is cheap and has no class connotations. At any rate, Chianti is not considered a high-class wine anywhere.


Examples

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Creed from the Black Cat manga had this once, complete with a rose inside of it, while he was lounging around in his evil castle.
  • Captain Harlock's trademarks are scars, eyepatches, and wine, in roughly that order. While he's more of an Anti-Hero, many of his actions could certainly be seen as unlawful and he's actually portrayed as the villain in Cosmo Warrior Zero.
  • Mazinger Z : Dr. Hell and his lackeys are sometimes seen drinking glasses of wine.
  • Piedmon from Digimon Adventure. He even got to keep it in the dub, with none of the dub's infamous Frothy Mugs of Water lines.
  • Subverted in Eureka Seven, Anemone achieves the same imagery of drinking blood by eating marmalade.
  • Alucard from Hellsing, the trope image, is seen enjoying red wine on his throne more than once in the series. It is hinted it may be mixed with blood, or be blood entirely.
    • The Major is another fine example, except with a glass of champagne.
  • When Kanako of Maria†Holic returns to her dorm room for the first time, she finds Mariya sitting there. It's Bordeaux.
    Mariya: It's tomato juice.
    Kanako: That's definitely a lie!
  • Gakuto from Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch.
  • Evangeline of Negima! does the "ungirly" version by often drinking red wine (usually in the most refined way possible). She is partial to several varieties of rare alcohols though (also drunk in refined ways).
  • Altena in Noir not only drinks wine but also owns a private vineyard. She also picks up the grapes herself, and is implied to at least participate in the making of the wine, as well. All and all, she's one hard-working Big Bad.
    • Although to some extent this is a subversion, since the vineyard isn't used to demonstrate Altena's decadence or refinement, but rather meant to emphasize her preternatural humility and role as a Madonna figure. It takes a special kind of Big Bad to willingly do hard manual labour day in and day out, after all.
  • Pokémon's Giovanni sometimes is seen drinking some sort of alcohol, though it's never certain what sort it is.
  • Captain Napolipolita in Project A-Ko is invariably seen with a glass of wine. When she can't get any, she goes into instant withdrawal and shoots up her own bridge. (It's a parody of Captain Harlock.)
  • Prince Diamond of Sailor Moon goes so far as to hold his wine glass up to an image of Neo Queen Serenity, with whom he is infatuated, so it looks like she's sitting in the glass.
  • The Computer Society President from Haruhi Suzumiya gets to try this out while he's villaining it up in the episode "Day of Sagittarius III". It's okay that he's underaged, it's all just part of the Deep-Immersion Gaming shtick.
  • Fei Wong of Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle spends most of his time drinking wine, looking bored, and letting loose a needlessly cryptic comment vaguely foreshadowing the next step of his plan to whoever happens to be listening.
  • Dr. Muraki in Yami No Matsuei (the anime) only got one scene where he drank red wine, but he milked it for all it was worth.
  • Pegasus of Yu-Gi-Oh! loved to drink wine and read comic books, but the censors turned his wine into "fruit juice".
    • Which actually works with his character because he acts childish for most of his on-screen time.
    • And led to a great joke in one fanfic: his assistant Croquet tells him that he was willing to look the other way regarding the drinking back when he was calling it wine, but calling it juice is introducing unstable behavior that requires an intervention.
    • They referred to it as wine in the movie, however. (Wine spritzers, specifically.)
    • Also, Mai Kujaku (or "Mai Valentine" as the "dub"'s producers prefer to call her) on a couple occasions.
    • Rex Godwin from Yu Gi Oh5ds did it a lot too while discussing things with minions, and also once while making a deal with Yusei. (It wasn't identified as wine or anything else in the dub.)
  • Father does this in Fullmetal Alchemist. It's not wine, though, nor even blood, but souls - from Greed's Philosopher's Stone.
  • Dilandau from Vision of Escaflowne has a taste for red wine.
  • In Dragon Ball, Frieza is seen sipping red wine (or whatever he drinks that looks the same) in a similar fashion in early scenes and flashbacks during the Frieza Saga.
    • Later on, his father displays the same behavior.
  • In One Piece, the character Inazuma takes this to the extreme, as he(or she) carries a goblet of red wine at all times, even while fighting.
  • In Saint Seiya, the great Pope have a glass too, but broke it in his fist when he start to be upset.
  • The head of the committee after the protagonists in Choujin Gakuen. At this point in the story, the heroes haven't met her face to face and she watching the fight from a button on the minions she sent after them. But Adam manages to guess correctly that she holding one just based on her condescending tone.
  • Dio Brando from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure often has a glass of wine while reading in part III; by then, he's pretty much just flaunting his level of sophistry.
  • Yuuko Ichihara of ×××HOLiC enjoys nothing more than tossing back beers, sakes and anything with liquor in it in the most booze-hound manner imaginable. That she's still creepy, imposing and pretty much omniscient at times, is a rather interesting contrast. Not to mention smoking an opium pipe. It could just be tobacco in there, but still...
  • In Science Ninja Team Gatchaman and both of its American translations, Berg Katse was often seen with a glass of wine.
    • Egobossler from Gatchaman Fighter as well.
  • Daidoji (known as simply "Doji" in the dub) in Metal Fight Beyblade who later returns in the final story arc of Metal Fight Beyblade Zero-G.
  • In Tokyo Ghoul, it isn't uncommon to see classier Ghouls drinking blood from wine glasses. Information Broker Itori runs a bar and is frequently drinking blood from a wine glass, while Picky People Eater Tsukiyama does so as part of the overall attempt to imitate fine dining while he eats. As a sign of his slip into Anti-Hero status, protagonist Kaneki is seen drinking blood from a martini glass while discussing business with Itori.

    Comic Books 
  • The Vatman in the Bloody Mary comics is something of an alcoholic... even after losing the bottom half of his face.
  • Flash villain the Top is an elitist who never fit in well with the other Flash villains. Part of this comes from the fact that he can taste the difference in red wines...
  • Emma Frost did this quite often when she was an X-Men villain. As stated about villainesses, she preferred champagne. Her tastes changed after joining the team, where her spirit of choice became whiskey out of a flask in tense situations, but she still prefers a glass of chianti when relaxed.
  • Doctor Doom has been shown lounging about on thrones or in throne halls with glasses of what one can only assume is a wine variant of one or other.
    • "Love a good wine... and a good war."
  • In Captain Britain, one of Mad Jim Jaspers' first scenes in the 616 universe involved him transforming white wine into red wine:
    He wants to laugh, but he feels too sad because the wine is wrong. It's white wine. He doesn't like white wine. He likes red wine.
  • Immortal caveman conqueror Vandal Savage can tell the year and region of a wine by the sound of it being poured, and refuses to drink anything newer than 1,000 year old vintage.

    Fan Works 
  • In one scene in Shadowchasers Ascension, Jalie Squarefoot is drinking Demon's Blood from a wine glass; this is the equivalent of fine wine to the aristocracy of Hell, like himself. (It is established early in the fic that devils cannot become drunk by drinking alcohol, and require magical substances to experience intoxication; lower-class devils drink other stuff like gughalaki, their version of whiskey.)

    Films — Animated 
  • In Aladdin, there's a wineglass in the vicinity of Jafar, but before he can drink it Jasmine throws it in his face.
  • Ratigan from The Great Mouse Detective drinks a glass of champagne while, indeed, lounging on his throne.
  • In The Black Cauldron, the Horned King broke his glass when he decides to execute the clairvoyant pig.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal Lecter famously announces, "A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti," before making a hideous slurping sound.
  • In The Matrix Reloaded, the Merovingian sips wine while holding court in the restaurant.
  • In Modesty Blaise The Movie, Gabriel (played by Dirk Bogarde) lounges with a glass of blue wine while dispensing his evil orders.
  • In The Island, Corrupt Corporate Executive Dr. Merrick is seen watching the Lottery in his private abode, drinking from a wine glass.
  • James Bond does this a number of instances.
    • In From Russia with Love, he senses something isn't quite right with Red Grant when he orders red wine, specifically A Glass of Chianti... with fish.
    • At the end of Diamonds Are Forever, 007 defeats the bad guys using his knowledge of fine wines. Earlier in the same film, he identifies the vintage of a sherry by taste. When sarcastically told sherry doesn't have vintages, he states that he meant the wine the sherry was made from. Possibly setting up Bond's superior knowledge of wine for later.
  • The Big Bad in Race for the Yankee Zephyr spends half the time with a martini glass in his hand, whether traveling downstream in a rubber dinghy or watching his mooks beat up one of the protagonists.
  • In Dracula: Dead and Loving It, Dracula says, "I never drink...wine. Ah, what the hell. <sip> It's good!"
  • In Inglourious Basterds, Landa pours himself a glass of chianti from a fiasco while questioning Aldo. It's somewhat ironic that he's drinking Italian wine while interrogating a fake Italian.
  • In Daybreakers, this is done with actual blood by the high-level vampire Bromley by draining a human victim's blood into a wine glass.
  • Lestat pours rat blood in a wine glass in Interview with the Vampire, but it's disgusting to vampires.

    Literature 
  • In the original novel of The Silence of the Lambs it was a "big Amarone" and not "a nice Chianti". Still a red wine from Italy, though. The change in the film was probably a case of Small Reference Pools. note 
  • The titular Count in Dracula, does not eat or drink. He does however know enough about fine wines to provide Johnathan Harker with "a bottle of excellent Old Tokay" to have with supper.
  • Double Subverted in Carpe Jugulum, where the human subculture of vampires are considered freaks because they file down their teeth, wear bright colors, stay up past noon, and drink... ''wine''.

    Live Action TV 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Caleb. Heck, his evil lair is a wine cellar!
  • Lex Luthor from Smallville. In fact, most of the time you can clearly see the crystal decanter in his living room.
  • Adelei Niska sips on an unidentified drink in the Firefly episode "War Stories" while watching Mal being tortured.
  • The Master in Doctor Who has always been fond of quality drinks (and cigars, of course). He's shown sipping whisky in "The Time Monster", wine from fine goblets in various Ainley!Master stories and glugging wine or whisky in "The Sound of Drums".
  • Farscape promotional images occasionally feature Scorpius holding a wine glass of an unnamed alien vintage (in the images where he's not holding some kind of bladed instrument, of course).
  • Vesper Abbadon and Silas Benjamin in Kings. Silas tests Abbadon's clarity of thought by having him identify a rare wine. "Chocolate, cassis . . . vines grown in clay."
  • In one episode of Red Dwarf, the imperial descendant of Rimmer's clone decreed the execution and immolation of the Red Dwarf crew, and ordered their ashes brought to him on a silver plate with a glass of chilled sancerre. The Cat is horrified.
    Cat: This guy's an animal. Doesn't he know it's red wine with cold ashes?
  • Mads Mikkelsen's Hannibal in the NBC series is much the same as his film counterpart, as a glass of red wine seems to be his favorite drink.
  • In the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers episode "The Wedding" where Rita and Zedd married, the two of them drank something that may or may not have been wine during the festivities. (They used wine glasses, but it was green and gave off a mist like that of dry ice; it was likely never identified because of the target audience.)

    Music 
  • Stephen Lynch's "Beelz."
    My real name is Beelzebub, but you can call me Beelz
    I love to watch Fox News and then go club some baby seals
    Then I'll take a bubble bath and drink a Zinfandel
    Try to wash off that baby seal smell
    And then I'll make a toast to me—hey, here's to my hell...th!
  • In the Evillious Chronicles, the sin vessel of Gluttony is a wine glass. So, yeah. Not that Banica used it for wine all the time...

    Video Games 
  • A character from Ace Attorney materializes a brandy balloon from Hammer Space for the sole purpose of swirling it evilly in front of Phoenix immediately after being exposed as a villain.
  • Castlevania
  • Fatman, the bizarrely hedonistic mad bomber boss in Metal Gear Solid 2, carries around a glass of red wine and drinks it as you fight him. Needless to say, it makes a mess of his blast suit in the end.
  • This Yoshitaka Amano concept art for Final Fantasy V depicts the main villain, Exdeath, lounging with a goblet of... something. He's probably only doing it for looks since for one thing, he still has his helmet on, and for another he's an evil tree.
  • Jonathan Jones and Valentina from Super Mario RPG are both seen holding wine glasses with red liquid in them. Johnny will comment on his drink if you inspect it after the boss fight. It's apparently 100% currant juice. Really.
  • Mr X does this in the bad ending of Streets of Rage 3.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • The Nostalgia Chick had a glass of dark-looking eggnog held in her hand during her second part of "Dreamworks Vs. Disney". While she's not technically a villain, but she kicked Nella rather badly during that episode.

    Western Animation 
  • Megatron of Transformers Animated once convinced the Constructicons to switch sides by sharing some of his private blend of oil, and was of course holding a goblet full of it in the standard fashion. The 'goblet' was a barrel twisted into the shape of fine glassware. Classy!
  • Beast Wars, Rampage said the second half of the page quote verbatim in the original script for his first appearance, substituting "spark" for "liver".
  • An episode of South Park parodies this. Cartman fakes having Tourette's, and is going to be on TV, and plans to say things on live television, and get away with it. When explaining this to Kyle, Cartman is sipping what appears to be wine, Kyle takes a sip from a glass and claims "This is apple juice!"
  • Discord from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic does this with a glass of chocolate milk while sitting on his throne after turning Ponyville into "the chaos capital of the world". While not wine, his mannerisms give it the same effect. Of course, since Discord's a nonsense-loving Reality Warper, he drinks the glass instead of the milk, which gets thrown away and explodes.
  • In The Simpsons episode Monty Can't Buy Me Love, Kent Brockman reads: "This new breed of fun-loving billionaire is a welcome change from the classic joyless miser, brooding in his cavernous mansion, grasping a glass of brandy with his thin, clawlike fingers and a superior smirk on his greedy, soulless face." Cut to Montgomery Burns sitting in his mansion, in that exact pose, glass in hand and uttering a reverberating "bah".
  • The first time we see Black Manta unmasked in Young Justice, he's eating a fine meal and sipping wine in his lavishly decorated private quarters.

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alternative title(s): Evil Wineglass; A Nice Chianti; Glass Of Chianti
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