Can a Film Help Popularize $175 Napa Cabs?


There’s a good deal of Hollywood Intrigue surrounding the cinematic interpretation of the famed Paris Tasting that put California on the maps. There are apparently now two rival productions in the works that will bring the story to movie theaters.

"Bottle Shock" is set to go into production staring Alan Rickman as Steve Spurrier and Bill Pullman as Bo Barrett of Chateau Montelena while "Judgment of Paris" is the "official" film based on Jim Tabor’s book "The Judgment of Paris.

"Bottle Shock" focuses on Chateau Montelena (which made the winning Chardonnay)
"Judgment" focuses on Stag’s Leap (which made the winning Cabernet)

Talk of lawsuits are in the air. It’s believed the film that gets into the theaters first will usually do better than the one that comes second. The story of the dueling movies may turn to be more intriguing than the subject matter of the two films as there is word that the Barretts of Chateau Montelena are funding "Bottle Shock" that focuses on them. However, that may or may not be true. The director of "Bottle Shock" is Randy Miller who’s "Marilyn Hotchkiss Ballroom Dancing and Charm School" opened the 2006 Sonoma Valley Film Fest.

Who knows, maybe these movies will do for $175 Cabernet Sauvignon what "Sideways" did for Pinot.

9 Responses

  1. James - July 23, 2007

    You mean what Sideways did for Pinot?

  2. Jack - July 23, 2007

    You mean create demand for 1973 California wine?
    These early 1970s wines are nothing like the $175+ Napa cabs of today.

  3. Fredric Koeppel - July 23, 2007

    Difficult to imagine much drama in a blind tasting: a bunch of guys sitting around sipping wine, making notes, uttering an occasional “zut alors!” and then the winners are announced. Yawn.

  4. Kathleen - July 23, 2007

    I just read this great article on the 4th Annual Florida International Wine Challenge! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

  5. johng - July 23, 2007

    Zut Alors! … would be a great title for the movie. Other than that I would keep in mind that’s not the characters’ timeless love of wine that kept the story going, but their timeless quest for women.

  6. Jerry Murray - July 23, 2007

    Again we find the american wine community focused on California. Those same tastings ( I believe ) also showed the world that Burgundy was not the only place for Pinot Noir. David Lett of the willamette valley’s Eyrie Vineyard, placed in the top 3 and did so again a year later when the tasting took place in Beaune. Now I certainly am not trying to take anything away from California ( or Caberent ) but at the time California had a sizeable industry. Mr Lett came to Oregon despite the advice from the ‘experts’ at the time. He not only put a region on the map, he served as the starting point, that 42 years after his first plantings, would result in an industry with over 400 bonded wineries. Make a movie about Mr. Lett and I assure you it will be anything but boring!

  7. Joe - July 23, 2007

    I think I will wait for the movie based on the Pullitzer-winning book about the Ocsar-nominee movies based on the book about a wine tasting. That’s got Palme d’Or written all over it.

  8. JB - July 23, 2007

    sadly, there is pretty much NO film made in Hollywood (at least no studio film) that doesn’t have at least one chain of title or copyright lawsuit against it during its life.
    and unless the powers that be can somehow make these into buddy dramedies, it doesn’t seem likely that either of these could have the mass appeal (or market impact) of a film like Sideways…

  9. Fiorenzo - July 24, 2007

    Actually a wine tasting doesn’t sound a big thrill for a movie. I’ve just seen Rickman playing the role of Hans Gruber in Diehard and this gave me this weird vision: a group of wine critics trapped by Rickman holding an Uzi. Humm, sounds good..

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