Archive for the ‘Film reviews’ Category

Sideways: ten years old and still aging well

December 8, 2013


written by Michael Oudyn

2014 is the 10th anniversary of the release of Sideways, undisputed most influential wine movie ever.  Credited with singlehandedly changing American wine-drinking habits, causing “pinot noir to fly off the shelves while merlot sales plummeted,” Sideways was largely filmed on location in Santa Barbara County, around Buellton.  It seems altogether fitting then that the American Wine Bloggers will hold their 2014 convention in Buellton, Santa Barbara County.  What better time to visit Buellton and revisit “the best wine film ever made?” (more…)

A wine-film review:”Bottle Shock”

September 22, 2009

rsz_bottle_shock_moviewritten by Michael Oudyn

Bottle Shock”, the 2008 Indy film very loosely based on George Taber’s Judgment of Paris, retells the “stunning upset” of unknown California wines from Chateau Montelena and Stag’s Leap over some of France’s fabled icons such as Haut-Brion and Mouton Rothschild in a blind 1976 Paris tasting with the crème de la crème of the French wine establishment as judges.  Nice little scandal!

Well, this seems like pretty good raw material for a movie.  But the “Bottle Shock” brain trust apparently thought the story line needed a little spicing up.   How about a little sex and violence, a random sprinkling of  mystical wine philosophy, some pretty shots of Napa vineyards, and a few nationalistic stereotypes that make us proud to be Americans.  Now, we´ve got a winner!  (more…)