for a little comedy, a little drama, and a little wine
Based around the infamous blind wine tasting in 1976 that has come to be known as the Judgement of Paris, this movie follows a British man, Steven Spurrier (played by Alan Rickman), living in Paris as he heads to California to find wines for his tasting. His intent is to draw notice to himself, his wine shop and his Academie du Vin by having a showdown between French and California wines to celebrate the American Bi-Centennial and France’s involvement in the origin of the American Nation. He expects the French to win.
But the movie isn’t just about the one man and his wine tasting… it is also about the people of the California vineyards. Specifically the family of the one vineyards in particular and some of the people around them.
There is nothing really surprising here. If you know anything about the 1976 wine tasting, you know what happens, but all of the actors here (the aforementioned Alan Rickman, Chris Pine, Bill Pullman, Rachael Taylor and Freddy Rodriguez) put in great performances and make the film an enjoyable journey to the inevitable end.
It is not for everyone, to be sure, but I liked it. It may be hard to find at the theater though, as it is only opening in limited release.