Some time ago there was a lot of excitement over the fact that there are two competing films being made in Hollywood about the same event, The Judgement of Paris.
I’m sure that if you are reading this site you are already acquainted with this story. “Shock! Horror! Respected wine judges select Californian wines above French in blind tasting!”
It probably seems strange to people starting out on their wine discovery journey today that there was a time when ‘New World’ wines were struggling for recognition (although the term “Fine Wine” is still very much dominated by French wines). However, 1976 saw a sea-change. I won’t bother commenting further on this here as it has been done to death before and will be again once these films come out.
I thought I’d comment on the films themselves. Much will be said in the official wine journals and blogs about how closely or not these reflect the actual event. I think this article covers most of the common points.
What I think is interesting will be the fact that 98% of those who watch the films will not care. However, as the Sideways effect has shown, some of the results of a film involving wine can be long-lasting even if unintended.
What I think might emerge from this, and I’m sure that there are plenty of people out there who hope it will, is a rejuvenated interest in the Chardonnay grape.
The first, and probably more light-hearted of the two, is Bottle Shock (“The French Never Knew What Hit Them” – including a tasteful image of wine bombs being dropped on the Eiffel Tower). It will focus on the winning white wine, a Californian Chardonnay from Chateau Montelena. If it gets people thinking positively about Chardonnay again, then this can only be a bonus, but lets hope the film has a little more integrity than the strapline suggests (I’d rather not see another “A Good Year” – it did very little for wine, romance, comedy or even film for that matter).
Let’s hope that less detailed historical accuracy is made up for in a plot that engages its audience in a love of wine, wherever it may be from.
The second film is still in the works, but will focus on the winning red wine, the Cabernet from Stag’s Leap, and I guess we will have to wait to see more about this, if and when this finally makes it out.
Who knows, but in 18 months time we may be talking about a new ABC movement in consumer drinking patterns. Maybe, instead of Anything But Chardonnay, we might have “Another Bottle shock Convert”