Wine Talk

Snooth User: Ryan Moynagh

Bottle Shock

Posted by Ryan Moynagh, Jun 16, 2008.

Check it out....

There are certain moments in history when America has proven itself to the world: Neil Armstrong setting foot on the Moon; or the US Men’s Hockey team beating the Soviet Union in the 1980 Olympics. One such moment, however, never got the recognition it deserved: In 1976, a small American winery bested the exalted French wines of the time and sent the wine industry into a tizzy - putting California wines on the map for good. Based on a true story, Bottle Shock chronicles the events leading up to the famous ‘Judgment of Paris’ tastings, told through the lives of father and son, Jim and Bo Barrett. A former real estate attorney, Jim (Bill Pullman) sacrificed everything to realize his dream of creating the perfect hand-crafted chardonnay. His business, however, is struggling, and he’s not only trying to overcome differences with his slacker son (Chris Pine), but is also fighting off the creditors. Meanwhile in Paris, unwitting British wine shop owner Steven Spurrier (Alan Rickman) hopes to revive his own failing business by sponsoring a competition which will pit the traditional French powerhouse against the California upstarts. Little did Steven and Jim realize that they were both on course to change the history of wine forever.


Reply by oceank8, Jun 16, 2008.

This looks really good, can't wait to see it.

Reply by Philip James, Jun 16, 2008.

Very cool. I'd heard about this being made, but didnt think that they'd get such stars to act in it.

When i saw the title of the thread i thought we talking about "bottle shock" which is what happens when you transport a bottle and it needs to rest for a few weeks to recover.

Reply by Mark Angelillo, Jun 16, 2008.

I might actually go see this one -- and I'm not at the movies too often.

Reply by Rodolphe Boulanger, Jun 17, 2008.

There are actually 2 forthcoming movies about this. It seems like Hollywood can never contain itself and must always make 2 "too similar to not confuse the public" movies at once (Prestige/Illusionist, Antz/Bug Story, Troy/Alexander, and those two hideous flicks about the asteroids hitting Earth).

So, Spurrier is a part of the other project - the Judgement of Paris (based on Taber's book with the same title a few years ago and not the book about French impressionist art or the scene from Greek mythology). I am not sure how the dust-up between the groups was settled as this Decanter article is a bit old.

Anyway, this newspaper article makes it sound like there is room for both films since one focuses on the Chateau Montelena (white) story and the other on Stag's Leap (red).

So these movies will raise awareness of how California wine got on the map in the first place, but probably at expense of muddling things a bit. Hopefully at least one of them is worthy of being called the follow-up to "Sideways" as opposed to "A Good Year."

Reply by Philip James, Jun 17, 2008.

I can just see the awful headlines "Its like a 70's version of Sideways" or "Sideways for historians who dont want to watch a guy drink from a spitoon"

Reply by evwgnyc, Jun 18, 2008.

Hell yes! I know editing can make a movie seem more than what it is but if this preview is any indication of the director's ability to capture this huge watershed moment in wine history then I am in. Whether the film is sub-par or not how cool is it that wine is that hot right now? It is good for you and it is contemplative and encourages freindly debate as well as enhancing food and is pretty much bottled poetry (all when done well of course). And here we are at a crossroads in wine history where it's pretty much out with the old (Warren Winiarski selling his baby, the passing of Robert Mondavi) and in with the new (Mendocino cellar rats moonlighting as wine makers with their own labels steadily moving to the forefront, organic and biodynamic farming not only becoming accepted but encouraged, oak being used more and more for its real purpose; to add complexity not cover flaws). It's great that Hollywood is paying tribute to why we are all on this website everyday checking things out. Bring it on. Next there should be a movie structured around a New York City wine bar.


Reply by abithompson, Jun 18, 2008.

I heard through the grapevine that Mike Grgich is not happy he is being played by Danny DeVito..

Reply by Philip James, Jun 20, 2008.

Yeah, thats pretty funny - got to be a bit of a downer to hear that

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