Friday, August 8, 2008

Bottle Shock - The Movie

This movie is based on the book Judgment of Paris: California vs. France and the Historic 1976 Paris Tasting That Revolutionized Wine which tells the story of when two California wineries defeated the French in a blind taste test. In 1976, a Paris wine shop arranged a tasting as a gimmick to introduce some California wines; the judges, of course, were all French and militantly chauvinistic. Only one journalist bothered to attend, a Time correspondent, looking for a possible American angle. The story he got turned out to be a sensation. In both red and white blind tastings, an American wine won handily: a 1973 Stag's Leap Cabernet Sauvignon and a 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay. When the story was published the following week, it stunned both the complacent French and fledgling American wine industries—and things have never been the same since.

When you hear about a movie such as this the hit movie Sideways immediately comes to mind. But I think there are some significant differences that must be kept in mind. Sideways was a completely fictional movie that focused on two characters with wine surrounding it as a venue to tell the story.

Bottle Shock on the other hand is based on a true story, an actual event in history, with wine as its primary star of the film with the winemakers as their co-stars. Then, of course, there are the two radically different locations (Santa Barbara in Southern California vs. Napa in Northern California) and the different varietal of wines that play the hero (Pinot Noir vs. Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.

The Official Trailer:

Behind the Scenes:

An ABC Interview: