With renowned wine importer Martine Saunier as our guide, we get a rare glimpse behind the scenes into the real Champagne through six houses, from small independent makers to the illustrious houses of Gosset and Bollinger.
Matthew Barnes is a young exec on the move up who finds himself a pawn in corporate in-fighting when he's sent to London to oversee a merger. He's to replace John Gissing; Gissing's gotten ... See full summary »
In 1976, Steven Spurrier, a sommelier in Paris, comes to the Napa Valley to take the best he can find to Paris for a blind taste test against French wine. He meets Jim Barrett, whose Chateau Montelena is mortgaged to the hilt as Jim perfects his chardonnay. There's strain in Jim's relations with his hippie son Bo and his foreman Gustavo, a Mexican farmworker's son secretly making his own wine. Plus, there's Sam, a UC Davis graduate student and free spirit, mutually attracted to both Gustavo and Bo. As Spurrier organizes the "Judgment of Paris," Jim doesn't want to participate while Bo knows it's their only chance. Barrett's chardonnay has buttery notes and a Smithsonian finish.Written by
The real Jim Barrett, owner of Chateau Montelena, appears in the film as a vineyard owner who pours a wine sample for Alan Rickman. Mike Grgich, the real-life winemaker at Chateau Montelena (and the man who was most responsible for the award-winning 1973 Montelena Chardonnay), appears in several scenes at the chateau, standing next to Bill Pullman as he takes a wine sample from a barrel. See more »
While Bo and Sam are kissing before Bo leaves for France, she's holding his face while two wisps of hair droop down on his right side.
When the camera films to show her face, all his hair is pushed back by her hands. See more »
[voice-over during a vineyard pan]
It wasn't always like this. Before Paris, people didn't drink our wine. I mean, my friends did. But you could hardly consider their palates discerning...
Hell, we were farmers... sort of...
[pan to empty bottles of Montelena label and several early twenties/late teens smoking hookah]
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Fun movie, and funnier than I thought it would be. Rickman was fantastic. I've never been a huge fan of his, but I really saw his talent and sense of humor come thru in this movie. I think even he might laugh during the movie.
I must say, when heard about this movie at Sundance, I thought it was going to give a documentary treatment to the wine competition in Paris. I thought it would something I'd sip red wine to, with a fellow wine geek. Instead this movie was VERY entertaining. It put me more in the mood to drink a good bottle of white with my wife, and...well, you get the idea.
The movie is not without some quirks, but I think a non-critic will "like it a lot," as Freddy Rodriguez says about his wine. It is a feast for the eyes. I can't wait to see it on Blu-Ray!
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