The wine industry is interesting to many millions of people, so it is no surprise that there are a number of moviemakers who have made the decision to bring this most wonderful of beverages to the big screen.
There are a number of great movies about wine, so here we thought we would take a look at some of the best that we have seen so that you can check them out and maybe enjoy a new perspective.
Sideways is perhaps the most famous film about wine in the world, with its screenwriters winning an Oscar for their adapted screenplay while the film itself was nominated for four more.
The film follows two men as they have reached middle age and decide to take a road trip together through the famous California wine country. One is a failed teacher and borderline actor whereas the other is an actor whose best days are behind him in terms of his career. Furthermore, he is about to get married and is looking for one more fling before he ties the knot.
The movie had a remarkable impact on the American wine industry when it was released, in addition to launching the career of Paul Giamatti into the stratosphere. In fact, his characters constant promotion of Pinot Noir is believed to have led to a 16% increase in sales of the drink in the United States.
This is an excellent first film to choose in your wine movie marathon, with elements of drama, romance and plenty of talk about what makes a truly great wine to keep you interested throughout its running time.
Bottle Shock takes a more comedic approach than Sideways and deals with the fallout of the events of a wine competition held in 1976 that came to be known as ‘The Judgement of Paris.’ Said test saw a wine that was made in California defeat a quality French wine in a blind test, causing uproar at the time.
The film boasts a healthy cast that includes the wonderfully talented Alan Rickman alongside Bill Pullman and Chris Pine, making for an able comedic trio.
The film itself deals with the events surrounding the ‘Judgement,’ though as with all films that are supposedly based on a true story, the accuracy of the events have been questioned.
Still, for those who are interested in why the American wine industry has managed to experience some level of success in the face of what would have been believed to be superior competition from the Italians and French, this film offers a great explanation. It is also a good watch for anybody who is interested in the rise of the Napa Valley wineries, which are located in California.
If you have ever wondered what it takes to become a Master Sommelier in the United States, Somm is the film for you as it deals directly with the subject matter. This documentary charts the path of a number of prospective sommeliers as they train for the test that will determine whether or not they can refer to themselves as Masters in the profession.
It is an extremely interesting film simply because it shows how much really goes into learning about the wine industry in order to achieve such a distinction. In fact, by the time the film was completed, there were less than 200 Master Sommeliers in the United States, including the people who pass the exam during the course of the film.
It’s strange that a film is able to make wine tasting and learning as much as you possible can about various vintages and winemakers interesting, but Somm somehow manages it and it has won a number of awards in the process. This is a great choice if you want to step away from fiction and examine more of the real world of wine.
Sticking with the documentary theme for the time being, Mondovino takes a look at the impact that globalization has had on the wine industry as a whole, both in terms of positives and potential negatives.
In particular it looks at the influence of a number of critics on the wine industry, especially when it comes to defining a style of wine that is deemed internationally acceptable. Furthermore, the film also looks at the differences between largescale wine manufacturers and the smaller wineries as they battle to win the attention of consumers all over the world in addition to their local areas.
It makes for interesting viewing for those who are interested in the plight of smaller winemakers and some of the unanticipated effects of wine becoming such a global industry. Furthermore, it is critically acclaimed and was nominated for a Palme d’Or at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival in addition to a Cesar Award.
We conclude with another documentary, with this one covering the continued expansion of the red wine industry and the struggles that some producers have to face in terms of supplying an ever increasing demand. This is particularly interesting given the effect that China has had on the industry in recent years, which is something the film examines in a little more depth.
Narrated by Russel Crowe, the film speaks to a number of wine producers, critics and experts throughout the world to find out more about what they think of the industry’s current state and where they see it going over the course of the next few years.
It also demonstrates that love for red wine had become practically global, with drinkers from all over the world receiving screen time so that they can talk about it. It makes for an interesting watch for anybody who has a similar passion for red wine, or people who are just interested in the trends that the wine industry saw coming back in 2013.
The Final Word
So there you have it. Five great films that all centre on the subject of wine for you to enjoy. Why not pop one of them on today and watch with a nice glass of wine?