As I sit here endlessly fascinated by the bubbles running up my champagne glass, I know you all are just as intrigued by the intricacies involved with our beloved drink. Since we have all found ourselves with more time on our hands, I wanted to dive into our wonderful world of wine more intimately by devouring several movies with grapes as the subject as well as the subtitle.
It’s truly hard to give such an outstanding production a review. Somm has taken our industry into the mainstream and exquisitely portrays a first-class view into everything that is entailed in the making, producing, studying, and business of wine. The trilogy guides us through candidates preparing to take their Master Sommelier exam, to all the components that go into a bottle of wine, while the third honors our founders and promotes the industry’s future. With factual accuracy, quirky characters, and striking footage Somm will educate and inspire anyone who watches.
A very fitting title to a whirlwind ride into the extravagant and manic buying of Bordeaux, particularly the superb 2010 vintage. The viewer is introduced to what happens to the upper echelon wine market when a new wave of buyers turns their attention to Bordeaux, especially the first growth producers. Lafite becomes the equivalent of Chanel when price tags become unreasonable and a wine label turns into the sole value of the wine, regardless of its contents. We are also challenged with the idea of a new emerging wine-growing region that could rival our darling France. Cinematically gravitating, you feel you are watching a runway show with all the lights and chic models showcasing a lifestyle in which you can’t tell if you crave or resent. It’s like Breakfast at Tiffany’s, but you know, the wine version. Leaving you feeling just as conflicted as Holly Golightly as to which lifestyle she fits in.
A Good Year
A tale of coming home again. We all want to go back home at some point, no matter our age, where we fled to, our the rubble we left there. A wealthy, money-hungry stockbroker from London is forced to take a trip to Provence, France to settle the chateau and winery left to him by his late uncle. He reunites with figures from his past and crosses a couple of tangled ones with his soon to be future. What life meant to the troubled broker was eventually discovered as he fell back in love with the place of his childhood. Underneath it all, this was a love story about the terroir and what was built on top of it by the people he held the closest.
Our Blood Is Wine
A truly touching experience that takes us back to the roots of winemaking. A renowned sommelier and his filmmaker wife travel to the Republic of Georgia to explore traditional methods of winemaking that were almost destroyed by the Soviet Union invasion. These stories strung together like a harmonious violin solo, paint pictures of deeply planted roots in family and love for one’s country. Meager yet incredibly hard-working households share not only their winemaking traditions but also their earnest personalities filled with laughter and singing, lots of singing that leaves you to feel bonded to these individuals. I’m still left in humbled awe at their true grit and a peek into what life means when stripped of the frills and price tags.
A fictional character feels he has to choose between his family’s business and his true passion, to become a master sommelier. This modern coming of age flick skillfully pairs its soundtrack to the beat of the main character’s ventures. Shedding light on the complete dedication an individual has to fully give in preparation for the exam, we see his loved ones joining together to do what they can to help him succeed. Slow-paced, with endless unspoken conversations, Uncorked sets your retrospect into overdrive while the ending leaves all loose ends untied, perhaps suggesting there is yet another story to tell.
Blood Into Wine
To be fair, I wanted not to like this one. I went in with an attitude of glorifying a rock star who decided on a whim he wanted to be a winemaker. Well, I got off my high horse relatively quickly. In a humorous yet sincere premise, Maynard, from the well-known band Tool allows us into his journey of knowing very little about the wine industry to build 2 successful wineries. I might be biased for obvious reasons but the breathtaking pictorial tour of Northern Arizona struck a cord of pride. Maynard pushes the perceived limitations of Arizona winemaking and illustrates the knowledge and ingenuity we bring to the vast wine industry.