The Walleye Magazine

Bottle Shock

Director Randall Miller assembles a B-list cast (for 2008) including Alan Rickman, Bill Pullman, Dennis Farina, Freddy Rodriguez, and a young Chris Pine to tell the story of how wines from the Napa Valley in California came to be discovered by the rest of the world. Rickman plays Steven Spurrier, a British wine snob who is out to beat the French at their annual Paris Wine Tasting event. The wine tasting is blind—that is, the judges do not know the provenance of the wine they are drinking. Spurrer, having heard rumours about California wine growing, travels there, discovers the elegance of the Napa Valley grapes, and brings the vintages to Paris, where they win. Based on true events taking place in 1976, the film is a richly layered comedy supported by the great acting chops of this ensemble and the snobbery of elite wine connoisseurs. I have become a wine snob. I love this film.

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