Movie: Bottle Shock


Released in 2008 and rated PG13

I liked this movie so much I am wanting to see it again. Loosely based on actual events about a 1976 wine tasting event in Paris, France. America’s wineries and the wine they produced were apparently not respected in the rest of the world. Wine expert, Steven Spurrier, (played by Allan Rickman) wanted to bring California wine to the tasting. He travels to California and the local wineries eagerly want to participate. He does have concerns about the plane ride back home because of possible…bottle shock.

The term “bottle shock” describes wines that temporarily suffer from muted or disjointed flavors. There are two ways that bottle shock occurs: either right after bottling, or when wines (especially fragile older wines) are shaken in travel such as on a plane crossing the Atlantic Ocean for a wine tasting event in Paris.

Bill Pullman plays Jim Barrett, the owner of the Chateau Montelena winery with his brother Bo Barrett played by Chris Pine. bottleshock-3

Rachel Taylor adds to the story depth with some romance and Freddy Rodriguez is the proprietor of Stags Leap wine.

I enjoyed the film a lot without caring that it wasn’t 100% accurate. I did like the fact that California earned some respect for their wines. This film was light-hearted and easy to follow. It’s the type of film that easily draws you in. You get the impression that all the wineries in California are financially suffering until the wine tasting. The scenary is beautiful and makes me want to try the wines that won.

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