Hollywood & Wine: Wine Movies!

Movies about wine are relatively few, and good ones are as rare as a 1961 Hermitage La Chapelle. Here's an overview of a couple worth seeing, and some educational ones, too. Bottle Shock Bottle Shock, which was independently released in the United States in August of '08, is available on video. The movie is supposed to tell at least part of the story of "The Judgment of Paris," that game-changing event in 1976 when a Chardonnay from Napa's Chateau Montelena and a Cabernet Sauvignon from Stag's Leap Wine Cellars beat some of the top French wines. In a blind taste test. In Paris. With some of France's top wine experts as judges. Mon Dieu! Problem is, lots of stuff shown…

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An Evening with Christian Moueix and Dominus

  On April 25 I was privileged to enjoy an evening with Christian Moueix ("Moo-ecks") of Petrus and Dominus fame, as a guest of Sherry-Lehman CEO Chris Adams.  Monsieur Moueix hosted a tasting of his Dominus and Napanook wines, with paired cuisine from Manhattan's Hotel Plaza Athenee.  I've been drinking his wines all my adult life and so I felt like I'd known Christian ever since I'd read Napa: The Story of an American Eden. In that book, one of my five favorite wine books, we hear about how Christian, who'd studied winemaking and viticulture at UC Davis, was first approached by Robert Mondavi who was in Bordeaux for the 1981 harvest, and had met with Christian and suggested that…

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Tasting Bordeaux From 2007 And 2006

In pursuit of a Sherry-Lehmann-sponsored tasting of the 2006 and 2007 Bordeaux, I wandered over to the Four Seasons restaurant in Manhattan on Saturday afternoon. Given that I've dedicated myself and this site to wine education and wine appreciation rather than ratings and numbers, I'll just list my favorite wines from the tasting and fill in more information if get the time. My very favorite is the Chateau Angelus 2007 from St. Emilion. Granted, everything from this estate is very pricey, as it's a Class B Premier Grand Cru Classe from the rather strange St. Emilion classification system. My second choice is the Chateau Gazin 2006 from Pomerol. I've got a case of the 05 resting comfortably in my cellar, and they may…

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Whine Costs

This morning's Decanter online has a story about what seems to be the collapse of the high-end Bordeaux wine market, including En Primeur, the method by which certain European producers offer wine for sale while it's still in the barrel. In other words, you pay for it 12 to 18 months before you can even get your hands on it. You're paying, of course, for the promise of a great vintage (or the heartbreak of a bad one), the prestigious names on the labels, and the cachet of getting a wine that's not for sale in any store. En Primeur applies only to certain wines from Bordeaux, Burgundy, the Rhone and Port wines. In the U.S. and other places, though,…

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Bottle Shock Now On Dvd

Bottle Shock, a movie about the famous "Judgment of Paris" in 1976 when two '73 California wines were judged superior to several esteemed French wines, is now out on DVD and in the rental stores. Go rent it! The big deal? The judging was done in France, it was "blind" (the bottles were covered up and the judges did not know what was in their tasting glasses) and only one of the eleven judges was an American. Another was British, and the rest were the cream of the crop of the French wine and culinary worlds. And only the French scores were counted! While it's not very accurate historically, it's still a lot of fun. It didn't do so well…

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