Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bottle Shock: The making of a French whine

"Bottle Shock" is the comedic/dramatic retelling of the biggest upset in wine-tasting history. This fateful "Judgement in Paris" is the brainchild of Parisian sommelier, Steven Spurrier, (Alan Rickman) who decides to stage a blind tasting between the best wines of France and California to help drum up publicity for his wine shop. While wending his way through California's wine country, looking for worthy competitors and sampling wines of various quality, Spurrier happens upon Chateau Montelena whose wines are quite excellent (I speak from experience). At first, Jim Barrett, (Bill Pullman) the struggling vineyard's owner, resists. But though a series of plot twists Chatean Montelena's chardonnay ends up in the competition. The scene at the judging is amusing as the various French judges trip over themselves to compliment what they believe are French wines while insulting the assumed Californians. This isn't much of a spoiler since you pretty much know it'll end even before the opening credits. The enjoyment of this movie lies in is how they get there. Which is why I tweeted: Bottle Shock-Story of how Chateau Montelena, with the help of French wine snobs, put Napa Valley on the map. Predictable yet satisfying. 7.5 (out of 10)

"Bottle Shock"

Released: 2008

Rating: PG-13

Length: 110 minutes

Cast: Chris Pine, Alan Rickman, Bill Pullman, Rachel Taylor, Freddy Rodriguez

Director: Randall M. Miller

Genre(s): Drama, Comedy

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