In the end, it’s not hard to see why filmmakers are drawn to create movies about the wonderful things. It’s not just that wine is delicious, but that it comes from gorgeous places: vineyards surrounded by rolling hills and sunsets.
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A night spent with a bottle or two of Merlot and a good book is the perfect way to spend a romantic evening. Wine has played a prominent role in a broad variety of films over the years, with the beverage taking center stage in many different genres. Here are 11 movies that are sure to please wine connoisseurs. Salud!
1. Red Obsession (2013)
China has become a new customer in the wine business in the previous several years. While China produces a lot of wine, its population have also developed a taste for it. By 2020, China is expected to be the world’s second-largest wine-drinking nation. This is the subject of the 2013 documentary Red Obsession, which examines China’s expanding thirst for wine, particularly Bordeaux-style. Global wine industry has seen a major shift as China has emerged a strong participant, shaking up the existing authority that have dominated the industry for decades. Russell Crowe is the narrator of Red Obsession.
2. A Good Year (2006)
Once upon a time, Russell Crowe planned to make a wine-themed film. Even if critics didn’t like it, Ridley Scott’s 2006 film A Good Year is worth a viewing. Max Skinner (Crowe) is a British investment banker who, as you might have suspected from his job title, isn’t a very kind person. However, a visit to a winery in Provence changes everything. Skinner inherits his uncle’s French winery, a site where the young Max spent a lot of time as a child, after his uncle’s death. It is Skinner’s goal to sell the land as quickly as possible as an adult, so he heads to Provence. It is only as he begins to renovate his estate that Skinner begins to recognize a new beauty in Provence and the people he encounters: Suddenly, his existence as a city slicker isn’t all that appealing. Is Skinner going to make a quick buck, or is he going to stay?
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3. Sideways (2004)
Sideways, a 2004 film by Alexander Payne, has become one of the most popular wine movies of all time. Jack (a fading actor) and Miles (a failing writer) set off on a road trip to California’s Wine Country ahead of Jack’s approaching wedding in this comedy-drama road movie. There are many laughs to be had in the odd pairing of Jack and Miles. Miles is the wine aficionado, while Jack is more like, well, Jack the youngster. For all the fun and jokes, Sideways is also an in-depth look at friendships and midlife crises, despair, love, and the perils of drinking a little too much.
A journey to one of the world’s most famous wine regions may be in your future after seeing Sideways.
4. Mondovino (2004)
In the meantime, here’s something a little more unusual. As compared to Sideways, the 2004 documentary Mondovino, by Jonathan Nossiter, takes an entirely different approach to wine. The collapse of industrialization and the rise of globalization have had a profound effect on all sectors of the world, including the wine business, over the past few decades. Nossiter’s video examines what ‘going global’ truly means for the international wine trade by touring vineyards in France, California, Italy, and New York. Deforestation and political tensions between major enterprises and independent entrepreneurs are key issues. With over two hours of primarily hand-held interviews with wine industry professionals, Mondovino is a satisfying and refreshing viewing for those who are willing to put in the effort.
5. A Walk in the Clouds (1995)
One of the best wine movies ever created is a 1995 romantic drama featuring a young, pre-Matrix Keanu Reeves. After World War II, A Walk in the Clouds is set in Napa Valley, California, a beautiful region known for its wine and food. Returning home to Betty, Paul Sutton (Reeves) is a soldier who is trying to forget the horrors of war. In spite of this, his marriage to Betty is becoming more and more troubled What about the wine, then? While in Sacramento looking for work, Paul meets up with Victoria, the daughter of Napa County vineyard owners, and they decide to get married. Paul volunteers to pretend to be Victoria’s spouse in order to keep her dominating, old-world father from getting upset. If you’re a fan of love stories, Keanu Reeves, family turmoil, and the lovely Napa Valley, A Walk in the Clouds is the film for you to drink a bottle of wine with.
6. Bottle Shock (2008)
If you’ve ever used Netflix, Bottle Shock may have shown up on your list of suggested movies to watch.’ For those of you who didn’t give it a shot, you should have, because it’s an enjoyable journey into winemaking in the 1970s. Because French wines were outclassed by Californian ones at the 1976 ‘Judgment of Paris’ wine-tasting event, Bottle Shock is inspired by this now-famous wine-tasting event. In many ways, this event paved the path for today’s global wine market and brought out ‘new world’ wines to consumers who had previously only considered French ones. Also, Bottle Shock has a stellar cast that includes Chris Pine, Bill Pullman, and the late Alan Rickman. Besides, there’s a lot of beautiful landscape.
7. Somm (2012)
Pouring wine is more than just corking the bottle and letting the juice flow into an appropriately sized glass with an amused expression on your face. There’s more to it than that. Somm, a 2012 documentary that follows four hopeful sommeliers as they seek to achieve the Master Sommelier Diploma, a tremendously tough wine degree, is the center of this article. Only about 240 people have passed through the thing since it was founded in 1969! A interesting examination of the people attempting to become Master Sommeliers — their emotions, hopes, and concerns – Somm is a worthwhile watch if you’re interested in learning more about wine.
8. Year of the Comet (1992)
William Goldman, a scriptwriter well recognized for his work on Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and All the President’s Men, wrote this 1992 film. It’s worth looking out even if his Year of the Comet isn’t as innovative as those two. Penelope Ann Miller plays Margaret Harwood, a wine taster sent to the Scottish Highlands to analyze a new discovery: an extremely uncommon bottle of wine made in 1811, during the Great Comet. A sort of bodyguard, Oliver Plexico (Tim Daly), is assigned to Harwood. Despite their disparate personalities, the two finally fall in love in typical Hollywood style. In addition, that bottle of wine is highly sought after, and others will go to great lengths to acquire it, no matter what.
9. A Year in Burgundy (2013)
Years matter a great deal in winemaking since they help to define the entire process from the vineyard to the final glass. As a result, many wine movies feature the word “year” in the title. Another one, please: It’s been a year in Burgundy, one of the world’s most popular wine regions. For the duration of a year, the film follows a group of wine families as they go through the multi-layered process of winemaking.
10. The Secret of Santa Vittoria (1969)
Considering that this 1969 war film was nominated for two Oscars, we’ll be opening a bottle of wine. When World War II broke out, the residents of an Italian village, Santa Vittoria, helped the Nazis by hiding a million bottles of wine from them. Despite the Nazis’ protests, Quinn plays an inspiring sergeant major who convinces the peasants to store the bottles in an ancient Roman grotto.
11. You Will Be My Son (2011)
In the end, You Will Be My Son, a 2011 film on the wine industry’s complex subject of inheritance, comes to the fore. When Paul de Marseul’s son, Martin, ultimately takes over the winery he owns, he is concerned about his son’s future. Instead, he hires the son of Francois, Phillipe, as the manager of his vineyards. The film is a mixture of a family drama and a thriller.