Sideways has become a seminal wine movie, and for anyone who is serious about their wines and their movies, it is utterly unmissable. It is a comedy-slash-drama that follows a failing writer and soon-to-be-married cad on their journey through the famous Santa Ynez wine country in California. It is a classic film and one that enjoyed a rapturous reception from both the critics and lovers of American wines all over the world.
While this movie isnt as centered around wine as, say, Sideways is, wines do feature prominently throughout. The characters are regularly seen making sophisticated wine choices that seem incredibly relevant to the scene. The film itself revolves around how a lesbian couples adopted children make the decision to track down and meet their birth father. It is a great movie and the wines mentioned throughout the film serve as the perfect backdrop for the movie as a whole.
One of the great wine movies, Bottle Shock tells the famous true story of the "blind" Paris wine tasting session in 1976, which had the leading tasters in the industry pitting their palates against French and Californian wines with some very surprising results. It's safe to say that the wine industry was never the same again after this infamous wine tasting session. The film stars Alan Rickman as a wine shop owner in Paris who instigates the blind tasting test in order to make Parisians aware that quality wines were available all over the world, not just on their own shores.
This film, set in the 1930s, tells the story of an English woman, Elizabeth, who comes to live with her wealthy winemaking aunt and uncle in California during the Prohibition period. The winemaking aunt and uncle endeavor to marry Elizabeth off to another wine dynasty in the region to consolidate their strength over the industry but, of course, Elizabeth has different ideas. It's a great example of classical filmmaking and one that shows the wine industry during a considerable period of turbulence.
This is an outrageously comical tale crafted by documentary filmmakers from four different wineries in the highly respected Northern California wine country. The film revolves around a visiting wine critic and shows how the different wineries go out of their way to make sure that their wine is chosen as the best in show. It's a great addition to our list of wine movies, and one that deserves your attention despite not being quite as mainstream as some of the other movies in our list. A hidden gem.
This 1969 film is another hidden gem in our list of top 10 wine movies. The excellent tale is based on the best-selling novel by Robert Crichton and tells the story of a wine-producing village in Italy, Santa Vittoria, which in 1943 managed to successfully hide 1 million bottles of their wine in a cave before the arrival of the advancing German army. The film stars Anthony Quinn and received a highly positive critical reception following its release it's definitely a film you should seek out if you are a lover of all things wine.
This 2006 adaptation of Peter Mayles novel of the same name was met with a fairly mixed reception upon its release but if youre a fan of wine, breathtaking French scenery and, perhaps, Russell Crowe, then there is certainly plenty to be enjoyed in A Good Year. It tells the story of a workaholic investment banker who unexpectedly discovers that he has inherited a French chateau and vineyard and, through the course of the movie, learns to love the more relaxed lifestyle that winemaking affords him.
This 2004 documentary film explores the impact of globalization on the various different wine regions around the world and was written and directed by respected American filmmaker Jonathan Nossiter. The documentary also explores the effect that wine critics and consultants have on the wine industry as a whole. The film was extremely well received when it was released and was even nominated for the highly prestigious Palme dOr at the Cannes Film Festival. If you have an interest in how the wine world operates, this is the movie for you.
While the film received mostly negative reviews upon its release, it is actually a bright and breezy romantic comedy that focuses around the pursuit of the most valuable bottle of wine in history. The Year of the Comet stars Tim Daly and Penelope Ann Miller and the title of the film refers to the year that the wine was bottled, 1811, which coincided with the Great Comet of 1811.
Perhaps more notorious for Keanu Reeves wooden acting than anything else, this movie has many redeeming features which make it worth a watch not least the breathtaking California scenery that is prevalent throughout the film. A Walk in the Clouds is a love story set in the 1940s, but all the action in the film really does take second place to the wonderful vineyards that serve as a backdrop to the majority of the movies set pieces.
So, there you have it if youre a fan of wine, then these are 10 movies that you simply have to see and, its fair to say, youll still enjoy them even if wine isnt you thing!