• Noelle Brandmier

MOONLIGHTER & VALLEY OF THE MOON PINOT BLANC - VIOGNIER


I'm going to tell you guys a secret. And its a very controversial secret, I don't really go running around shouting this secret from the rooftops (unless those rooftops belong to my close friends). I'm not the biggest fan of pixel art. As I finished typing that, I imagined a collective gasp from about 95% of the people out there who will read this post. A few years ago I was vehemently against pixel art, but I'd like to say I've grown as a person and I can now appreciate it and enjoy it in its own way. I loved Stardew Valley, I loved Celeste. But most recently, I think I have Moonlighter to thank for showing me the bright side of pixel art and animation.

Moonlighter has been my summer game. Its been a weird summer, sort of busy but also sort of lazy and yet somehow still stressful? And of course, all of a sudden its September. But Moonlighter was the perfect fit for that kind of strange schedule. This rogue-lite RPG lends itself perfectly to quick intermittent play sessions. You play as Will, the adorable white haired shopkeeper who dreams of becoming a hero amidst the adventure of the dungeons. You delve deeper and deeper into the dungeons in order to retrieve stock to sell in your store (and also to unravel the mystery of the dungeons). The enemies are fun to hack at, the upgrades are cool and exciting, and I really felt motivated to become simultaneously the best shopkeeper and the best hero that town had ever seen. But what really caught my attention in this game was the art. Pixel art can sometimes be stiff for my taste, and yet Moonlighter is anything but that. The animation is bouncy and full of life, with secondary action and tons of weight. I can't tell you how many times I rolled around ecstatically watching how Will's oversized backpack moved with him. This game surprised me and charmed me with its design, and I love it. The art of Moonlighter is an absolute delight to sink into. Now, I may have cheated a bit when finding a pairing for this game. I really wasn't sure what would pair best with Moonlighter, so I started out by browsing the "moon" themed wines to see if anything felt right. This bottle was the first to catch my eye. I am quite a fan of viognier, its kind of like the lighter, brighter younger sister of chardonnay. So of course, I decided to try it out and (like with most wines) I was pleased. Valley of the Moon's Pinot Blanc-Viognier blend is bright, aromatic and creamy, with notes of honeysuckle, peach, and ginger. It's slightly sweet while still maintaining a refreshing air about it. While it might not pair perfectly with the rock, forest, desert, and electrical theme of the dungeons, it does make me think of the idyllic country town that Will returns to after every dungeon run. It's a sweet small town that slowly becomes a hustling bustling center through vehement shop-keeping. This wine reminds me of traversing the quiet grassy fields to the dungeon entrance, and of the sweet home I would soon return to. If I were Will, I'd sip this outside my shop in the evenings while admiring the fireflies.

Now on to the DLC!