Bottle Shock

Bottle Shock* * *
Bottle Shock
– nf – We finally caught up with this movie that we had been wanting to see since we missed it at the local movie theatres. As new Californians the pride we have in California wines is nothing compared to the passion that Napa valley vinters had in their local wines which 35 years ago were hardly recognized world wide as compared to French wines. This movie, which is based a true story, centers on Steven Spurrier (Alan Rickman) a Brit living in Paris who had a wine store there and his pal and confidant (Dennis Farina). Spurrier decided that he would stimulate interest in buying wine by showing that in the 1976 bicentennial anniversary year, the upstart Americans still could not make wine, which could hold a candle to the established French products. He travels to America and meets Jim Barrett (Bill Pullman) owner, but deeply in debt, of the Montelena Chateau and his son Bo (Chris Pine) as well as a group of other California vintners. He convinces 12 of them to give him two bottles each to enter into a French wine tasting event in which the wine would be blindly judged. The California group knew that “if one wins, they all would win.” As they say, the rest is history. There are a few subplots which include Sam (Rachel Taylor) the beautiful graduate student wine intern, Bo, Barrett’s son who gets boxed around by his father and Gustavo (Freddy Rodriquez), the Mexican-American farm hand who is owner of a small wine maker operation with his father (Miquel Sandoval). The movie also stars the beautiful green California grape yards, the spirited Napa Valley Wine growers and the very French wine guys in Paris. There is the expectable dramatic blind wine tasting contest in Paris which has subsequently come to be known as Judgment in Paris. There were no big surprises although you do come away from the movie feeling good and also having learned an important history lesson about a product many people love and revere. (2008)

Category: 3 Stars, Comedy, Drama | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , Comment »

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