If you are a wine lover, there are plenty of activities that go hand in hand with this passion. For instance, if you want to transform your wine bottles into pieces of decoration, our recent post might be of help.
However, if you are the type of person that likes cozy, yet refined experiences, there is nothing better that you can do on a relaxing afternoon than to open a bottle of your favorite wine and to watch a great movie. Here is a selection of highly acclaimed wine-related movies you should not overlook!
Even though some might consider Sideways somewhat of a cliché choice, at this point, there is little chance that you have not heard about it, there is something about this film that you are likely to find enjoyable. After all, Sideways is one of those cult films that wine lovers often recommend.
In a nutshell, this movie has it all – wine, friendship, and Santa Barbara County. It is packed with comedic lines that will make you smile and it will surely make you feel like it is time to pack up and go on a trip to your favorite wine region!
A Walk in the Clouds
This 1995 movie stars Keanu Reeves in the role of a WWII soldier who falls in love with a college student. Their love story is both fascinating and endearing, especially given that it blooms on the vineyard that her father owns in Napa Valley.
Apart from the beautiful romance between the two, the movie shines through its depiction of what work on a vineyard entails. This movie is best to be viewed on a romantic evening accompanied by a bottle of a rich and warm wine.
The Earth Is Mine
The Earth Is Mine is a 1959 movie that is set in the 30s. It was directed by Henry King and it stars Rock Hudson, Jean Simmons, Dorothy McGuire, and Claude Rains. The drama is a very entertaining take on how a winemaking dynasty from California tried to survive during the Prohibition.
The screenplay for The Earth Is Mine is based on the novel The Cup and the Sword published by Alice Tisdale Hobart.
Year of the Comet
If you pride yourself as being a wine connoisseur, you probably know that the most valuable bottle of white wine ever sold is an 1811 Chateau d’Yquem from 1811.
The movie Year of the Comet is a romantic, yet action-packed movie that depicts the pursuit of a bottle of wine from 1811. The title of the movie refers to 1811, the year of the Great Comet, and, at the same time, one of the best years in the history of (European) wine.
Who does not like a success story? Bottle Shock is a movie directed by Randall Miller that tells the story of how California wine proved its worth in the 1976 wine competition in Paris, France.
Even though the plot is not necessarily accurate, it does manage to keep the viewers engaged. It should be noted that Mike Grgich, the winemaker who won the competition was part of the creative process.
A Good Year
Another romantic movie that you will surely love is A Good Year. The lead actor, Russell Crowe, plays a successful investment banker who inherits a chateau in Provence. Here, he meets a charming and alluring café owner, Fanny, played by Marion Cotillard.
As he falls in love with her, he has to choose between his career and a serene life next to the woman that he loves. The movie is available on Amazon Prime and it has received overall, good reviews from previous viewers.
The Secret of Santa Vittoria
If you are a fan of older movies, this 1969 gem will surely catch your attention. The movie is based on a novel by Robert Crichton and it portrays the story of Santa Vittoria, a small wine-producing city in Italy.
The movie focuses on one event that characterizes the city, that is, the hiding of no less than 1 million bottles of wine, before the German troops advanced through Santa Vittoria in 1943, during WWII.
Back To Burgundy
This 2017 movie offers a fictionalized depiction of how it is like for the younger generation to accept and continue their family tradition of winemaking. The most appealing part of the movie is its ability to encapsulate and present the culture of wine-making.
Reviewers have said that the movie is a great choice for oenophiles. The movie has a very French sentimentality that shines through and that many find charming. On average, Back To Burgundy has received good reviews and it is worth your time and consideration.
Documentaries about wine
As an oenophile, you are probably curious about what goes on behind doors in the wine industry. If the topic seems interesting, here is a list of documentaries that you should not miss out on!
A Year In Champagne
Champagne is one of the most popular wine regions in France. This documentary takes you on a trip to Champagne, alongside Martine Saunier, the renowned wine importer. The movie offers an intimate glimpse into the lives of the real winemakers in Champagne.
The director of the movie is David Kennard, and he is also known for directing another interesting documentary that you might also enjoy called A year in Burgundy.
However, it should be mentioned that this documentary was made for entertainment purposes only. So, you should not expect it to tackle topics that a knowledgeable person in the field of champagne-making might be interested in.
If you are a fan of documentaries, this will surely catch your attention. The documentary is a compilation of interviews with wine lovers and winemakers from all around the world and it is narrated by none other than Russell Crowe.
The title, Red Obsession, points to the main theme of the documentary, the obsession that newly enriched Chinese people have with Bordeaux, the famous red wine that has always been associated with the idea of power, wealth, and influence.
Since its release in 2013, this Australian documentary has been nominated and won numerous awards. It has an 86% score on Rotten Tomatoes. You can watch it on Amazon Prime, Apple TV or on Vudu.
As its title suggests, this documentary by Jonathan Nossiter offers a close look at the impact that globalization had on different wine regions all around the world. Plus, Nossiter also explores the role and the impact of wine tasters and critics on the wine industry.
In 2004, the year that the documentary was released, it received the Palme dOr at the Cannes Film Festival. Upon its release, this documentary was well-received by both critics and wine lovers. So, it goes without saying that this is a must-see for all wine enthusiasts interested in how the wine industry works.
This 2013 documentary has received a lot of attention from wine lovers. As its name suggests, Somm, directed by Jason Wise offers wine lovers the opportunity to see how four different candidates try to pass the Master Sommelier examination, one of the most challenging tests out there. The show focuses not only on the knowledge that the candidates have to display but also on the techniques that they have to master before being awarded the title.
As a result of the success of the 2013 release, the director made a sequel, SOMM: Into the Bottle, that was released in 2015, a documentary that focuses more on the history of wine, and less on that of the sommeliers. A third film, Somm 3 was released in 2018. The show is available on Amazon Prime.
If you know the name Rudy Kurniawan, you are probably well-acquainted with the action of the fraudster. Kurniawan was an Indonesian wine collector that managed to sell numerous bottles of fake wine for exorbitant prices.
After the FBI raided his LA home in 2012, news broke that the wine-seller collected bottles of old bottles of wine, filled them up with less-expensive wine, forged the labels, and later sold them for important sums of money. His downfall came after a winegrower from Burgundy figured out his deception and decided to unmask his actions.
In 2014, the forger received a 10-year sentence for his crime. If you are interested in what Kurniawan had to say about his actions, you should know that he refused to give an interview to Jerry Rothwell and Reuben Atlas, the directors of the documentary. If the subject seems interesting, the show is available on Netflix.