I wanted to make a list of a few good films and documentaries about wine that I’ve been surprised more people haven’t seen. So here’s a quick list along with my comments. Enjoy, and please include other wine films in the comments that you feel are worth sharing.
A Year in Champagne (2015)
This inside look at the people, traditions and culture of Champagne is an absolute blast. It’s no wonder the wine they make is the basis for so many celebrations. Filmmaker David Kennard’s earlier film, A Year in Burgundy, is also a must watch film, but I wanted to put this one on the list as I didn’t feel it had the hype and reach that the Burgundy film did.
Wine pairing: Champagne, naturally.
Blood Into Wine (2010)
I remember seeing the band Tool play second stage at Lollapalooza in 1993 and was fascinated with front man Maynard James Keenan. Who would guess that this metal rocker who also founded the bands A Perfect Circle and Puscifer would go on to pioneer winemaking in Arizona? And believe it or not, the wine’s really good.
Wine pairing: Caduceus Cellars 2013 Nagual de la Naga (Sangiovese/ Cabernet/ Merlot)
Somm: Into the Bottle (2016)
The first Somm movie was great as we follow a group of wine experts preparing for the Master’s Sommelier exam. Into the Bottle dives deeper behind the scenes of the wine industry and looks at the history, regions and practices at some of the world’s top wine producing locations. A beautifully shot film that every wine lover should view.
Wine Pairing: Elio Altare Barolo Cerretta
You Will Be My Son (2011)
This is a gut wrenching, moving story about an aging French winemaker in St Emilion whose son tries passionately to win his father’s affection and approval for his work in the family business. But the Father instead favors someone else. This is high drama and amazing storytelling.
Wine pairing: St. Emilion Bordeaux
Here’s an interesting film that seeks to take on the movie Sideways and the famous proclamation from Miles about “not drinking any f’ing Merlot.” They travel to the most popular Merlot producing areas of the wine world (including Cheval Blanc and Petrus) and interview some of the top names in the wine industry to prove that the noble Merlot grape is being unfairly shunned. Note: this one is low budget, about twice as long as it needs to be, and blanketed with terrible moving graphics that make Southpark look like a high end production. But that said, there are enough good takeaways and interesting interviews, that it’s still worth a watch.
Wine Pairing: Any Merlot from Santa Barbara County
See also “5 Must Read Books About Wine“