Movie Review–Bottle Shock

(2008) The story of the blind Paris wine tasting of 1976 that has come to be known as the “Judgment of Paris.” California wines, scoffed at by the Europeans, came out on top!

Directed by: Randall Miller
Starring: Alan Rickman, Dennis Farina, Bill Pullman, Chris Pine, Rachael Taylor, Freddy Rodriguez.

You gotta love the ’70s–and this movie! Based on a true story, it tells the story of how the wine country of California was put on the global map. The Europeans didn’t believe what America had to offer was any good, but then there came that blind competition…

But it’s so much more. There’s the battle of father v. son, establishment v. passion, immigrant v. ignorance. Surfer Guy and I visited Chateau Montelena in Napa County earlier this month, the setting for much of the action and it was just like the movie. (I’m researching my next trilogy which I call “sip-lit” since it’s set at a winery.) Cool building, beautiful grounds, verdant vineyards. In the tasting room there is movie memorabilia, as well as copies of the letters that went back and forth from the Chateau’s owner during this time (he’s still there, working alongside his son “Bo,” portrayed by Chris Pine in the movie).

Rent it and watch with a bottle of wine. You’ll get an understanding of the combination of the farming mentality and the winemaking passion that goes into every bottle. The scenery is spectacular. California offers some amazing vistas, and all of them are not ocean-related! And let’s not forget about the music…fabulous soundtrack.

Am looking for good movie recs, either in theaters or available otherwise. Deadline approaching and will need good stuff to fill the well after first sip-lit book is done! One lucky commenter will win a Christie Ridgway book!


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29 Responses to Movie Review–Bottle Shock

  1. Inglourious Basterds or Julie and Julia is good.

  2. Jane says:

    I loved "The Hangover." Haven't had a chance to see "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" yet, but it looks pretty good. I would pay just to watch Channing Tatum.

  3. Betina Krahn says:

    Sip-lit! I love it! Christie, you're so clever. I saw this movie in the theater and I really liked it. Like you said, an interesting combination of the "farmer" mentality and the vineyard/winemaker passion.And what a fun blast of the 70's!When do your books come out? They sound yummy!

  4. Emmanuelle says:

    Oups… I haven't been to the theatre since The Propsal so no new recommendation for me. On the other hand, here are a few films I love to watch and re-watch :- Atonnement- 13 going on 30- Notting Hill- identityWhen is your next release ???

  5. Kylie says:

    The Proposal was my last trip to the theater, too. We did pick up the video Seventeen Again which was sort of cute. Mostly because the secondary adult character was hilarious.

  6. Debra Dixon says:

    I've never heard of this movie.I'm off to put it in my NetFlix queue.Sadly, I've seen nothing lately because I've been busy with projects. I'm hoping to get back to the theater in the next month or so. There really is nothing like the theater. I don't care how big your big screen is. (g)

  7. Laurie says:

    Oldies: Breaking Away (coming of age), Man From Snowy River, Return to Snowy River (beautiful scenery and filming set in the Australian Outback), French Kiss Meg Ryan & Kevin Kline and Harold & Maude(really quirky relationship between 80 yo & 18 yo with death obsession – Cat Stevens soundtrack)

  8. I think The Proposal was the last movie I saw in the theaters as well. Laurie: We just watched Breaking Away again the other night. What a good one. Harold & Maude also awesome.Lou: I want to see IG and J&J. Must get this book done. The first will be out next June. My title is FIRST CRUSH, but don't know if that will stick. 'Course it's great as a wine-related book, but may sound YA-ish?Want to see 17 again. And the Star Trek movie as Chris Pine (who stars in Bottle Shock with weird long hair) is Captain Kirk.Keep these good ideas coming!

  9. Michele Hauf says:

    I'm so glad you reviewed this one, Christie! I had meant to see it then forgot. Now I will seek it out. And though I don't drink wine I did recently get a bottle of 'Vampire' wine, which is bottled somewhere in CA. I've been told White Zinfandel is for non-wine drinkers because it's very sweet, so fingers crossed I will like it!I saw The Time Traveler's Wife this last weekend. Bring lots of kleenex! I read the book, and loved it, so knew I would need kleenex. And while I wasn't excited Eric Bana was playing the lead role, he worked it. It was sad and happy. A quiet movie about life and loving. If you feel like a good cry, I highly recommend it!

  10. tetewa says:

    I'm a member of Netflix and I also watched and enjoyed this one! Here's a couple more to check out, The Christmas Cottage and Nobel Son!

  11. Oooh, thanks tetewa. Don't know those. I have got to join Netflix. Don't know why I haven't yet.Michele: Yeah, white zin is sweet. Hope you enjoy it and the movie!

  12. Anonymous says:

    I loved Bottle Shock! Alan Richman and wine–what could be better? We just saw Julie & Julia–loved that too. Before that the last movies I saw in the theater were Star Trek (Chris Pine again!) and Terminator-Salvation, both great.pattie

  13. Hey, guys. The producers of Bottle Shock have a contest running where you share your story about watching the movie: http://www.bottleshockstories.com/2009/08/create-the-perfect-evening-bottleshock.htmlYou would win a fun wknd in the Wine Country!

  14. diane says:

    oh, i love alan rickman and i will definitely be adding this to my netflix account. wonder if it just might be instant play? a lil bit older movie that you might enjoy is "sideways" with paul giamatti and virginia madsen. i really love this movie and highly recommend it to anyone. :-)brunigirl05@yahoo.com

  15. Eshani says:

    I recently watched "District 9", mainly because of my boyfriend, but I was pleasantly suprised. It's a little heavy on the blood and gore, but it's an intriguing and well-made film. I haven't seen this film yet, but I've heard many good things about "Julie and Julia" too.

  16. Thanks, Diane and Eshani (love that name). I'll put District 9 on my list.Diane: Loved Sideways, 'specially since I went to college in Santa Barbara. I've got to watch it again. As for whether Netflix will have it as instant play, don't know. Not sure if this has any bearing, but you can get it from iTunes as well.

  17. Great Post! I loved this film, too!Patti – I'm so right there with you! I'm a huge Rickman fan.My list of recommended films is huge. I have it running down the right hand side of my website.www.genelladegrey.com:)G.

  18. Genella: You may have best author name ever! Love it. Also like your movie list at your site. A lot I've seen, some never, and it made me want to re-watch several!

  19. hristie, I loved BOTTLE SHOCK. Rickman and Giamatti are always wonderful. Dennis Farina is such a fine character actor, and I do like Virgina Madden. Great story, characters, cast–the whole enchilada. This is one of those "little" movies that should have been promoted big time. The really good stuff is getting lost in the overblown superhero stuff. You almost have to belong to online netflix or blockbuster to catch these.And SIDEWAYS is an all-time fave for me.

  20. Recommendation. If you missed MAD MEN seasons 1 & 2, then and enjoy before you jump into Season 3, which just started on AMC. It's also On Demand.I know. I'm a broken record. (Broken CD?)

  21. I'm having trouble with Blogger. That would be Christie! And about MAD MEN I meant: then *rent* and enjoy.

  22. Debbie says:

    Thanks for the great review. I'll have to move that up on my Netflix list. Finally saw Benjamin Button last night. Good movie, but very long. Two of my kids still want to see District 9, and my son (17) is dying to see Ponyo. I'm also interested in "9" (animated). Now to find some time!

  23. Yeah, Debbie, finding the time. But Kathleen now has me dying to see MAD MEN. Has been heavily recommended by several people.Soon! I'll be a watching fool.

  24. catslady says:

    I haven't been to the movies in ages either (sigh). But we do belong to netflix and have about 50 in our queue. As for an oldie, I recommend Forever Young – an old Mel Gibson movie that will make you laugh and cry.

  25. catslady: I love Mel in the old days. I can't remember if I ever watched that one or not.

  26. Amy Kathryn says:

    Go see Julie and Julia, definitely.Older ones that are my favorites are 84 Charing Cross Road (about a book lover and a book seller) and also The Illusionist.I love Netflix because of the if you like this movie, you will like that one feature…I have seen so many wonderful, little known films because of their recs.

  27. Terry Odell says:

    Just added Bottle Shock to my Netflix Queue — thanks!We saw Julie & Julia in a real theater. Great movie, but you probably knew that. Mostly, we've been watching classics from Netflix. We really enjoyed Captains Courageous.

  28. Anonymous says:

    New to this RWTTD blog. enjoying it! Love all the movie recommendations… may I suggest "young @ heart". Its on netflix and its a documentary about a group of senior citizins that get together to sing coldplay (and other popular music) concerts. you'll laugh, you'll cry and you will be touched. Enjoy!

  29. routers says:

    This IS excellent entertainment! That is what it was intended to be. If you are like "SteveBonser" and you were looking for an episode of the History Channel; you will have to wait for the OTHER "wine tasting of 1976" film that the real Steven Spurrier is involved with.Oh,and Steve, dude, the music from the late 70's is the period of the movie. Have some fun, man!

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