Wine Talk

Snooth User: Adam Levin

Bottle Shock

Posted by Adam Levin, Aug 11, 2008.

I saw the new wine movie, Bottle Shock, this past weekend and, unfortunately, I do not have the best things to say for it. About half of the movie (the second half) was fairly entertaining and some scenes were actually quite clever. There were just a lot of useless scenes that seemed forced and thrown together and really dragged the film down. Also, the music seemed like it was taken straight out of a winery promo video. I had some high hopes for the cast they managed to throw together, but I guess this is where most of the budget went.

In the end, though, for any wine fan it's probably worth seeing this movie as there are so few movies dedicated solely to wine out there.

Did anyone else see the movie?


Reply by Mark Angelillo, Aug 11, 2008.

I didn't see it but that's disappointing.

Reply by John Andrews, Aug 11, 2008.

Funny thing is that out here, in the area it supposed to portray, I haven't seen many theaters showing it. It is only showing in 5 theaters (that I can find) in all of the Bay Area.

Reply by Philip James, Aug 11, 2008.

Adam - how does it compare to Sideways (weird) or Mondovino (niche) - yes, my 1 word 'reviews' are free!

Reply by Adam Levin, Aug 11, 2008.

Eric Asimov's comparison to Sideways is pretty spot on - "Comparing “Bottle Shock’’ with “Sideways’’ is simply a marketing gimmick hoping to capitalize on the earlier film’s success." (

Mondovino was interesting for its one-sided-ness and focus on the globalization of wine. Bottle Shock is more like an average movie that happens to remember every once in a while its supposed to be about wine.

Reply by RachelNYC, Aug 11, 2008.

That is upsetting, I had high hopes for it (I am going to see it on Thursday). It went into limited release on August 6th and after one week it is down to three theaters in all of Manhattan. That typically isn't a sign of a high quality film. :(

Reply by Daniel Petroski, Aug 12, 2008.

I am seeing the movie on Thursday as well. Since it was filmed in Ch. Montelena's and my hometown of Calistoga, I am very excited about it and expect to love it nonetheless. I'll write more after the movie....

Reply by Rodolphe Boulanger, Aug 12, 2008.

It sounds like they edited poorly, marketed poorly, and will finish poorly. It was only 21st on its opening (albeit limited) week-end so I fear that it is heading quickly for December's airplane viewing. Hopefully Judgment of Paris is better next year. Otherwise they'll stop making wine movies for another decade.

Regardless, any NYC folk up for seeking it our this week-end?

Reply by WineGent, Aug 14, 2008.

OK, the movie was not fabulous. But, it was not THAT bad either. It was not as good as Sideways, it will not make anyones top ten list, but I am glad I saw it.

As wine geeks, we all have high expectations on what we would like to see regarding this historical event. It may be a better topic for a documentary where they can go deeper into the historical aspect of the event, and take less artistic license with the facts.

The best part in hearing the "so-so" reviews of the movie, is it lowered my expectations of what I was going to see. I am glad I went, found the film entertaining, and I would recommend it (with proper expectations set) to others.... WIneGent

Reply by Rodolphe Boulanger, Aug 18, 2008.

I saw it on Saturday and was actually impressed. I had a very similar experience to WineGent.

I thought it would make me cringe, but it was fun and entertaining. Yes, they've changed the story a bit and added characters (and left some big ones out - Mike Grgich & Patricia Gallagher), but this isn't a documentary for wine geeks - it has to play to a wider audience. Its not going to win any Oscars, but it is worth seeing.

Randall Miller's struggles in getting his film proper distribution are well-documented. Bottle Shock has beaten Sideways' opening week-end and 2nd week-end gross so now we'll see what happens now through September as this film drifts toward general release. Of course Sideways had Fox Searchlight really promoting it quite hard going into Thanksgiving 2004.. so I don't think Bottle Shock is going to get to $70 million at the box office, but it should do well enough to ensure that wine movies continue to be made!

Reply by John Andrews, Aug 18, 2008.

It is good to see that is now playing in 8 (up from 5) Cinema complexes now in the Bay Area (including Napa). This means I might actually get an opportunity to see it conveniently.

Now to find someone to go with me ... that may be more difficult.

Reply by Rodolphe Boulanger, Aug 18, 2008.

It is still only showing in 3 locations in Manhattan, despite doubling its theater count nationwide last week-end.

I took my girlfriend who is a wine consumer who does not read wine books, blogs, magazines, etc. and she enjoyed it so I think has some mass appeal.

Reply by WineGent, Aug 24, 2008.

In DC it is only playing in 2 cinema......the artistic E street theatre and the Bethesda Theatre.....Worth the drive!

Reply by Rodolphe Boulanger, Aug 27, 2008.

Alas, now it looks like its no longer playing in NYC...

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