Bottle Shock REVIEW

Last night I was lucky enough (OK, so I paid) to attend the San Francisco premier of Bottle Shock as well as a modern day interpretation of the Judgment of Paris.

Prior to the screening, we convened at Crushpad to taste 5 chardonnays and 5 Cabernet blends, to see if the current results would match or best the original 1976 tasting. At the same time, i wanted to present myself with a personal challenge and see if I could (accurately) guess which wines being tasting were French, and which were from California.

First, my tasting results, as compared to the crowd’s popular vote at our recreation, and the results in 1976.

First, my results:

Chardonnay
My Place Wine # Popular Vote Origin?
1st Wine 2 2nd France
2nd Wine 5
CA
3rd Wine 4 1st CA
4th Wine 3
France
5th Wine 1 2nd tie CA




Cabernet
My Place Wine # Popular Vote Origin?
1st Wine 6 but it was a very close battle with my 2nd place winner 2nd CA
2nd Wine 10 1st CA
3rd Wine 7
France
4th Wine 9
CA
5th Wine 8 3rd France

Now that you’re wonder what the hell these wines were, here are the actual bottles we tasted (and if they were tasted in ’76, where they placed:

Wine #

Wine

Crushpad Result

1976 Result

Origin

Wine 1

2005 Gustavo Thrace

2nd (tie)

CA

Wine 2

2005 Girardin Meursault Charmes Du Dessus Premier Cru

2nd

France

Wine 3

2005 Puligny-Montrachet Clavillon Domaine Leflaive Premier Cru

8th

France

Wine 4

2006 Chateau Montelena

1st

1st

CA

Wine 5

2006 Freemark Abbey Winery

2nd

6th

CA

Cabernet

Wine #

Wine

Crushpad Result

1976 Result

Origin

Wine 6

2004 Freemark Abbey Winery Bosche Vineyard

2nd

10th

CA

Wine 7

2004 Chateau Mouton Rothschild

2nd

France

Wine 8

2004 Chateau Montrose

6th

France

Wine 9

2004 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars SLV

3rd

3rd

CA

Wine 10

2004 Ridge Monte Bello

1st

So now that I’ve completely confused you – a question:
Are palates demographically and attuned? It it in our genes to like particular wines, or is it what wines we have been given as we are training our palates?

Now! On to the movie! First, let me tell you how important it is to be able to bring wine in to the movies, particularly if the movie is, well, about wine.

Fortunately, the Sundance Kabuki has a wine bar with balcony seating, that allows you to order wine and food for your enjoyment in the theater. You might think that this is sacrilege, but what better to go with a campy soap opera treatment of the wine wars than a nice glass of wine & a nibble? They have done a great job revamping this San Francisco institution, and include soft liek seating with cocktail tables every two seats int he balcony. For all this cozy atmosphere, you only pay $1.50 plus food, which brings the ticket price to $11.50. Doesn’t seem like much more than the Metreon if you ask me, and I’d pay that anytime. The wines by the glass could use a little help, but the food was quite tasty.

Bottle Shock needs to be viewed with a grain of salt. The producers were on hand to give us the backstory, as was Bo Barrett and Gustavo Brambila two of the main characters in the film.
I take this movie to be a reality TV show type spin on the true story of Chateau Montelana as well as Beau, his father Jim.

Telling the story of the 1976 Paris tasting requires a certain amount of camp treatment, and the producers were given creative license to…well…enhance their characters. What this amounts to is the portrayal of Bo as an ambition-less hippie at odds with his father. Yes, most of this is actually true, but the over the top performance of Chris Pine as Bo and Alan Rickman as British wine merchant Steven Sperrier just add to the hilarity.

My favorite moment in the movie was when Rickman takes a sip of the Montelena Chardonnay and makes a face as if he is eating dirt since he can’t believe that this California swill could possibly be a palatable solution to the French domination in the wine market.

Take it for what you will, part soap opera, part realty TV. I loved it, just as I loved Sideways and give it 5 Chardonnays.

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4 Responses to “Bottle Shock REVIEW”

  1. Joe Roberts, CSW Says:

    OK… need to see this STAT… where’s the confounded babysitter!

    And, uhm… what was the result of that wine tasting again??

  2. The Wine Brat Says:

    Yes you do! And be sure to stash a bottle in your bag đŸ˜‰

  3. Agent Red Says:

    I love this post, L! Next time, invite me…

    The Judgment of Paris, and the subsequent World Wine Olympics, destroyed the notion that California wine was a lower form of wine.

    I’m proud to know many of the players involved, and am a big fan of their wines.

  4. Lynn_in_Sac Says:

    Glad to finally read this. Haven’t seen the movie yet, but from what you are saying about it, I know I’ll enjoy it, as long as I don’t take it too seriously.

    So were you able to tell CA from French??? Seems like your ‘tastes’ in both countries wines were evenly spread.

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