If you could bottle the essence of "Peeno Noir," what would it taste like? Sequins? Dreams? Pure, unadulterated sensuality? Finally, we have the answer.
Season two of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt hits Netflix on Friday, and as much as we're looking forward to getting reacquainted with the title character—a relentlessly optimistic doomsday cult survivor played by Ellie Kemper—we're even more excited to see her roommate, aspiring superstar Titus Andromedon (Tituss Burgess).
Kimmy Schmidt creators Tina Fey and Robert Carlock wrote Andromedon specifically for Burgess, a Broadway veteran, who garnered an Emmy nod for this role. In what is perhaps the very best of the series' many instant-classic moments, Titus records a music video for "Peeno Noir," his "ode to black penis," in the opulent Upper East Side apartment of Kimmy's boss, Jacqueline Voorhees (Jane Krakowski).
The song—which Burgess actually improvised, because this man is far too talented for us undeserving mortals—became a viral hit, thanks in part to its sublimely inane lyrics: Caviar, Myanmar / Mid-sized car / You don't have to be popu-lar.
At $24.99 a bottle, Pinot by Tituss is a bargain for a piece of TV history, let alone of piece of TV history that offers the added benefit of getting you drunk. How could we resist?
This wine—which pours a rich, deep purple not unlike Kimmy's JanSport backpack—is tasty and drinkable. It's sweet, oaky, and very low in tannins, tasting of cherries and dark berries with notes of cinnamon. All in all, this pinot noir is user-friendly and easy to like: A good choice for an extended binge-watching session.
Newton's First Law of Netflix holds that there is no binge-watching without binge-snacking. To find an appropriately delicious food pairing for Pinot by Tituss, we turned to Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt for inspiration.
Kimmy covers a shift delivering Chinese food for Dong (Ki Hong Lee), but her utter inability to make change gets her GED classmate turned love interest in trouble with his boss. In honor of Kimmy's poor math skills, I try Pinot by Tituss with two takeout staples: beef with broccoli and a shrimp egg roll.
The pinot noir is a natural fit with the beef with broccoli. The dish brings out a spicy, nutty quality in the wine that I quite like. Would recommend!
The shrimp egg roll is less of a winner with the red, although together the two aren't really any worse than the sum of their parts. It feels like I was eating a shrimp egg roll when someone accidentally spilled wine into my mouth. (It could happen.) The combination isn't gross, exactly, but it doesn't strike me as something anyone would ever do on purpose.
Onto another Kimmy-approved favorite: noodles and butter, which—come to think of it—is probably exactly what I would be craving after spending 15 years trapped in a bunker. That, and sunlight.
In one word, this pairing is bad. In two words, not good. In three, very not good. The red wine-butter blend is so unpleasantly sour that it gives me an instant headache.
Of course, you can hardly hold this against Pinot by Tituss. Any sommelier who would suggest pairing butter noodles with pinot noir, or any red wine, or any wine, or anything that isn't juice in a sippy cup isn't a sommelier at all, but a liar who printed out a counterfeit diploma from the International Sommelier Guild at their local library. You've been warned.
To be clear, I still eat each and every last one of the buttered noodles, because that's what Kimmy would do, and because I am hungry.
While having a nightmare about her time in the bunker, Kimmy tries to strangle Titus in her sleep. His neck is still slick with the tell-tale grease of a bedtime Hot Pocket.
After some soul-searching in front of the freezer section at Walgreens, I opt for Pepperoni Pizza over Hickory Ham & Cheddar. There are more Hot Pocket flavors than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
Holy shit. I will be the first to acknowledge that, by this point, I have consumed enough wine to potentially impair my judgment, but this pairing is truly, unbelievably delicious. The wine's sweetness, which could be cloying in a different context, is gorgeously complemented by whatever salty, synthetic laboratory-food is happening inside this pastry. Pinot by Tituss and Pepperoni Pizza Hot Pockets are my OTP.
Molly Fitzpatrick is senior editor of Fusion's Pop & Culture section. Her interests include movies about movies, TV shows about TV shows, and movies about TV shows, but not so much TV shows about movies.