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A Glass of Chianti

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So you do drink...vine! Liar!

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

Many villains, 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 unsophisticated, 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 it's possible that villains drink red wine specifically to invoke the vampiric example.

Villainesses and neutral Femme 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.

A Sub-Trope 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.

In some parts of the world, any class connotations come from which wine it is, not the bare fact that it's wine. Also, if a Chianti is a villain's wine of choice, that can be a clue that they are not really as classy as they claim or that they really know little about wine; Chianti is a pleasant but modest table-wine, but it's not generally regarded as particularly sophisticated or elegant. Therefore, the Trope Namer The Silence of the Lambs is not an example of this trope.

Contrast I Do Not Drink Wine.


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    Anime & 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.
  • Hellsing:
    • Alucard, who provides 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! Magister Negi Magi 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 villain.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 villain to willingly do hard manual labour day in and day out.
  • Pokémon: The Series' 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. This is actually a Shout-Out to Leader Desslok in Space Battleship Yamato.
  • 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 Descendants of Darkness (the anime) only got one scene where he drank red wine, but he milked it for all it was worth.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
  • Rex Godwin from Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds 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 The Vision of Escaflowne has a taste for red wine.
  • In Dragon Ball Z, 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 has a glass, but broke it in his fist when he got 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.
  • 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.
  • Vampires of Seraph of the End drink what appears to be wine in a wine glass, but is actually blood.
  • Prince Heinel and his uncle Emperor Zambajil of Voltes V are both seen drinking a familiar reddish-pink liquid in wine glasses. However, they're aliens from a planet 14,000 light years away from Earth, so it likely isn't wine...

    Comic Books 
  • The Vatman in the Bloody Mary comics is something of an alcoholic... even after losing the bottom half of his face.
  • The DCU:
    • 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.
    • The 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...
    • The Legend of Wonder Woman (2016): Priscilla Rich has a glass of wine in her hand while lounging in her furs at a Nazi meeting where they're plotting the killing of innocents and the destruction of Wonder Woman.
    • Starfire's Revenge opens with the titular Supergirl villain and her minion Derek enjoying a glass of expensive wine and lounging in a beach on the French Riviera while discussing her criminal schemes.
  • Marvel Universe:
    • In Captain Britain: A Crooked World, one of Mad Jim Jaspers' first scenes in the 616 universe involves 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.
    • Fantastic Four: 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."
    • It is a sick joke, of course, but in one Spider-Man story, Venom pretty much paraphrases Hannibal Lecter's famous quote while anticipating eating Spider-Man's liver. (He had previously goaded the hero by saying he was trying to decide between the lungs, spleen, or pancreas; the guy is nuts.)
    • 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.

    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.)
  • Bart Simpson: Attorney at Law: Jeremy enjoys a glass of champagne as his plan to destroy Alex's reputation on TV unfolds. Appropriately, he throws the bottle at his TV in fury when his plan falls apart.
  • In Old West, Dufayel is shown indulging in a glass of brandy several times. He actually borders on The Alcoholic due to his drinking so many glasses being his way to cope with his obscure anxiety over the stalemate he has with the heroes for the majority of the story.
  • Pokémon Reset Bloodlines has Lysandre pull this trope off during a party during the Holiday Special.
  • Lucius Malfoy, being Wicked Cultured, enjoys this trope in Child of the Storm.

    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.
  • Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox depicts Eobard Thawne/Reverse-Flash using a mug of coffee to this effect in the final battle. He takes a long swig of it right before fighting the Flash.

    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. note 
  • 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 (2005), Corrupt Corporate Executive Dr. Merrick is seen watching the Lottery in his private abode, drinking from a wine glass.
  • V for Vendetta has a non-alcoholic version: dictator Adam Sutler enjoys a glass of warm milk at night. He's even openly satirised for it (as well as for being unable to stop V, the terrorist) in a comedy variety show—and watching the show during that exact episode, he shatters the very glass of warm milk he's holding in rage, and (unsurprisingly) has the show's creator arrested and extrajudicially murdered.
  • James Bond does this a number of instances.
    • In Dr. No, Dr. Julius No has wine (likely an expensive one) served at the dinner he has with Bond and Honey Ryder.
    • In From Russia with Love, James Bond senses something isn't quite right with Red Grant, who is impersonating a classy British agent when Grant orders red wine, specifically a glass of Chianti... with fish, and then asks for a white Chianti when the waiter raises an eyebrow; fish is supposed to be served with white wine but all Chianti is red. Bond remarks to him at gunpoint that no true English gentleman would be so unknowledgeable about wine as to order red wine with fish or to ask for a nonexistant white Chianti.
    • At the end of Diamonds Are Forever, 007 defeats the henchmen duo, Wint and Kidd, 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.
    • In The Man with the Golden Gun, Nick Nack bring Champagne to his boss Francisco Scaramanga as he lounges on his island's beach. He does the same in the climax, but this time Scaramanga "uncorks" the bottle with a revolver shot.
    • In Spectre, Blofeld has Champagne brought to Bond and Madeleine Swann as he makes them visit his Supervillainlair.
  • Mr. Brown 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 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.
  • Played for Laughs in The Gamers with the Bandit King, a Small Name, Big Ego villain who carries a glass of wine to an ambush in the middle of the forest as a prop for his Evil Gloating.
  • Mars Attacks!: One scene has the Martian leader sipping from a red martini in his ship.
  • In Saw V, John Kramer drinks wine from a teacup before interrogating Mark Hoffman about why he tried to frame him with an inescapable trap just to murder someone.

  • 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 
  • Nightfall (Series): Prince Vladimir is often seen with a glass of red wine in his hand, sipping slowly and discussing its qualities. Only for a certain special occasion, he switches to champagne and uses the opportunity to educate Myra on the history of champagne and how it’s related to the period of Enlightment.
  • 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.
  • Other than smoking Russian cigarsnote  and drinking champagne, MARZENA is a big fan of ridiculously expansive Petrus, and we also have Livia who drinks grape juice in a wine glass.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Breaking Bad: Walter White lounges on an armchair with a shot of scotch, while declaring that "merely" making millions no longer cuts it for him, and he's set on establishing a true drug empire.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Caleb. Heck, his evil lair is a wine cellar!
  • 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.
  • Adelei Niska sips on an unidentified drink in the Firefly episode "War Stories" while watching Mal being tortured.
  • Game of Thrones: Cersei Lannister drinks red wine to memetic levels. In season 8, that's mostly all she does.
  • 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.
  • Interview with the Vampire (2022):
    • "...After the Phantoms of Your Former Self": Lestat de Lioncourt slits the tenor's wrist while holding a gold-rimmed wine glass underneath it to collect the dripping blood, and then he takes a sip like he's savoring a Luxurious Liquor.
    • "The Thing Lay Still": Lestat drains the blood of an encyclopedia salesman into a decanter, and then pours it in crystal wine glasses for himself, Louis de Pointe du Lac and Claudia in their opulent dining room, a Vampires Are Rich version of a family dinner. They generally don't drink blood in a fancy setting (they typically go out to hunt), but the pretty glassware in this scene accentuates how Louis and Claudia are confined in Lestat's Gilded Cage.
  • 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 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.)
  • In the Red Dwarf episode "Rimmerworld", the imperial descendant of Rimmer's clone decrees the execution and immolation of the Red Dwarf crew, and orders 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?
  • Lex Luthor from Smallville likes his vintage Scotch, prominently displayed in a glass decanter. In fact, him offering you to personally pour you a glass from the drink tray in his study is a sign of respect. Villains sometimes try to assert dominance by pouring one without his permission. He also has a wine cellar.

  • 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!
  • 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...


    Professional Wrestling 
  • As Story Time With Adam Cole became more and more over the top, we finally got to him sipping out of cup on Road To Final Battle, and yes, sitting on a throne(he was the original Kingdom's centerpiece after all).
  • In Lucha Underground. Not wine, but DelAvar Daivari was often seen sipping a glass of (what was probably very expensive) whiskey. He even was drinking a glass of the stuff inside the ring while waiting to start his first match against Texano!
  • The Precious One Gilbert brought a wine glass to the contract signing for his WWC Universal Title defense against Orlando Colon and filled it with two different kinds of wine while Orlando yelled at Gilbert for stalking and invading the personal space of the non wrestlers in Orlando's family.

    Video Games 
  • A character from Ace Attorney whips a brandy balloon out for the sole purpose of swirling it evilly in front of Phoenix immediately after being exposed as a villain. What makes this particularly strange is that he pulls it out in a jail's visitation room.
  • Castlevania
    • If you steal from Dracula in Castlevania: Curse of Darkness, you will find that he drinks tomato juice. Now that's blackmail material.
    • In the final boss battle in Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow's Julius Mode, Soma Cruz lounges on Dracula's throne while sipping a glass of wine as you enter. He dramatically tosses it to the ground before rising to fight you.
    • Soma is seen in a similar position in his bad ending of Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow.
    • This is a shout-out to a similar scene in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night where Dracula dramatically tosses aside a wine glass while expressing his distaste for humanity before Throwing Down the Gauntlet and fighting Richter.
    • The scene is also borrowed for a boss fight in I Wanna Be the Guy. The wine glass will hit the hero and kill them if they don't dodge— but what doesn't in this game?
    • And again in Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin. Dracula really likes doing this.
    • And the first game where Dracula does it is Castlevania for X68000, later ported to PlayStation as Castlevania Chronicles. Those maids must have been overworked to death.
    • Not even Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is safe from Dracula's wine glass-tossing habit, as he does it in the intro cutscene preceding his boss battle.
    • Magicka has yet another shout out to this (among its 9001 shout outs) when Vlad tosses a glass of wine away just before the boss fight starts.
    • This even carries over to Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, Castlevania's Creator-Driven Successor made by Koji Igarashi, Castlevania's most famous head-honcho: His Kickstarter pitch video has him throw a wine glass, and the game's heroine, Miriam, also has an ability where she does the same thing, obtained from IGA as a DLC Optional Boss, who liberally throws wine glasses as his attacks.
    • In the opening of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2, Dracula aka Gabriel Belmont is sitting on his throne, goblet full of blood in hand, looking bored out of his skull. While an army is laying siege to his castle. He only gets up and finishes his drink before tossing the goblet to the floor when he hears said army "knocking" on his door with a battering ram.
    • Gal Guardians: Demon Purge also gets in on the fun by having the Final Boss lounge on a throne with a wine glass in hand before tossing said glass to the floor right before the actual battle.
  • Deltarune has Queen, the second chapter's main antagonist, who apparently carries wine glasses with her everywhere she goes. She actually fills her wine glasses with battery acid, and her boss fight requires you to toast so she drinks it and lowers her shields. It doesn't hurt her, though, since she's an anthropomorphic computer. The giant mecha she pilots for the final battle also carries its own fancy glass of battery acid, though she uses it to splash your mecha with acid as part of one of her combos.
  • Fatman, the bizarrely hedonistic mad bomber boss in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, 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.
  • Duke Portius of WildStar is almost never seen without a gold-rimmed goblet of red wine. At the end of the "Meet the Dominion" trailer he crushes it while talking about the Exiles. Then calls for someone to get him another drink. "Something expensive."
    • He opens the "Meet the Chua" trailer by pouring a new glass, from the look of him not his first glass. And to illustrate why he needs so much wine, at the end a Chua drops a ticking bomb in his (empty) glass.
  • Galaxy Angel: In Moonlit Lovers, Big Bad Wannabe Rezom Mea Zom is shown holding a glass of wine when he's shown in a full body image.

  • Miho's character in the Megatokyo online game/backstory manages to play this as A Goblet Of Chianti. The line ("Ah, but there is still the wine...") and the expression clinch it.
  • In The Order of the Stick there's only one way to cap General Tarquin's most magnificently evil speech ever: a single smooth sip of his drink.
  • Cornelia likes to sip from a glass of "juice for grownups" in Cucumber Quest once she's revived the Nightmare Knight for her plans of world conquest.

    Web Original 

    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!"
    • Skankhunt42, aka Gerald Broflowski pours himself a glass of red wine when preparing for another night of relentless Internet trolling. He never drinks it though.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: In "The Return of Harmony, Part 2", Discord does this with a glass of chocolate milk while sitting on his throne after turning Ponyville into "the chaos capital of the world". He then drinks the glass, and throws the milk away, which 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 (2010), he's eating a fine meal and sipping wine in his lavishly decorated private quarters.

Alternative Title(s): Evil Wineglass, A Nice Chianti, Glass Of Chianti