Cheers to ‘Bottle Shock’
September 26, 2008
Wine, Napa Valley, the late ’70s, Paris … I think I just caught you humming ‘these are a few of my favorite things.’ Okay, maybe that was me, but even those people who are not the strongest wine connoisseurs can find some delight from “Bottle Shock.”
Loosely based on the true story of Chateau Montelena vineyard in Napa, the movie delivers a unique story about how California wine got its start in the global wine industry.
The film begins in Paris with British actor Alan Rickman who stars as the owner of a wine shop showcasing French wines. He skeptically ventures to California to find new wines worthy of competing with the French. In Napa, he crosses paths with a vineyard owner played by Bill Pullman. Pullman’s character left his legal practice to start his own vineyard, Chateau Montelena, and has some struggles in the process. Through the trials with his hippie son (Chris Pine) and quirky staff (Freddy Rodriguez and Rachael Taylor), they persevere to produce what will hopefully be their best Chardonnay yet. Various wines from the area, including Montelena’s, go on to the blind testing in Paris.
Set in 1976, this film takes you back to the early days of the Napa wine industry. However, the stylist of this movie does not do the best job of portraying ’70s fashion. Everything looks straight out of Urban Outfitters, with a cliche ’70s soundtrack to match. Plus, Rachael Taylor’s character is not wearing a bra during 93 percent of the movie, which is a bit distracting.
“Bottle Shock” was presented at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and had a very positive response among viewers and critics. An award-winning movie about wine ” I know, it sounds a lot like “Sideways.” While these two movies share the same common ground, you will find they hold very different stories. “Bottle Shock” is a carefree, enjoyable and relaxed film suitable for teens and older. Beautiful shots of the wine country illustrate the movie, which will have you planning your trip out west in no time. So grab your favorite bottle of wine, and sneak it into the theater for this one (if anyone asks, I didn’t tell you to do that). It will help you get through some of the cheesier moments in the movie. But hey, cheese does go well with wine.
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