When the weekend arrives and your plan involves a comfy couch and a glass of your favorite Moscato d’Asti, why not combine relaxation with entertainment? Invite friends for a casual night featuring wine tasting and a wine lover’s movie. Plan monthly gatherings to sample wine and review a must-watch film for wine lovers. Instead of a book club with coffee, make it a wine club and a movie.
From comedy to drama to documentaries, wine appears in several big screen hits and near misses. Check out the following top five films for wine lovers.
A Walk in the Clouds
This movie features a big name actor overshadowed by lush wine country landscapes in northern California. In the post-World War II love story, Keanu Reeves, returns to an empty marriage. Then he meets his true love. While staying with her family at their vineyard, complications arise. Highly regarded movie critic, Roger Ebert praised “A Walk in the Clouds” saying it was a glorious romantic fantasy, aflame with passion and bittersweet longing.
A Good Year
Based on the novel by Peter Mayles, this movie is a must-see for fans of wine and Russell Crow. In the film, Crow’s life revolves around his banking job until he finds out he inherited a chateau and vineyard. When he returns to the familiar setting, he decides he must sell it. As he works on the long renovation project, he realizes the tranquil lifestyle is what he needs. Glorious scenes featuring vineyards in the French countryside serve as an impressive backdrop for “A Good Year”.
The Kids Are All Right
Although this film doesn’t revolve around a vineyard, wine seems to symbolize choices. Wine also adds depth to the humorous storyline. The film serves as a lesson about relationships, life and love when unconventional parents must deal with their teen son’s quest to find his biological father. The lesbian couple shows wisdom in their search and in their choice of good wine. Their philosophy hints that life might be better if we relax and enjoy what we have. Somehow the wine just blends into the story helping to cultivate relationships into a whimsical, yet realistic, ending.
“Sideways” is the wine lover film any bona fide wine lover must see several times. It tells the journey of two men traveling from one stage of life to another. Their journey of self-discovery is literally a journey through the sprawling Santa Ynez wine country in California. As the main characters learn more about themselves, the viewers learn more about wine. Almost immediately tagged as a huge hit, “Sideways” is a comedy/drama combination. Any true lover of wine puts this classic film on a well-deserved pedestal.
Based on the true story known as the Judgment of Paris, this film chronicles the historic upheaval in the wine industry following the 1976 taste test. For the first time in history, a small winery in California gets picked over the prestigious French wine. Putting Napa Valley in the international spotlight, the monumental decision gained new respect for California wine. The back story leading up to the blind taste test includes a look at the life of the winning wine maker. It parallels the man’s passion for his work to his challenging relationship with his son. The historical element in “Bottle Shock” makes the film required viewing for any American wine lover.
The five wine movies mentioned are a small sample. From the obscure to the well-known, many more wine lover flicks are available.
Dominique is a full-time writer, who loves nothing more than to sit back with a glass of Merlot and troll through the movie offerings of DIRECT TV.