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Bottle Shock


4.3 out of 5 stars 1,905 customer reviews

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(Feb 03, 2009)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Based on a true story; Bottle Shock chronicles the events leading up to the famous Paris Tastings of 1976; wherein Napa wines bested the exalted French wines in a blind tasting and put California wines on the map for good. The story is told through the lives of father and son; Jim (Pullman) and Bo Barrett (Pine); who founded Chateau Montelena in the early 1970s and whose Chardonnay went on to win what was eventually coined "Judgment of Paris." Jim Barrett; who had been a successful real estate attorney previously; is emblematic of the California vintners' spirit mavericks who had come to Napa on a quest to make world class wines. Bottle Shock is many things: the story of Steve Spurrier (Rickman); an unwitting British wine shop owner in Paris whose publicity stunt set the stage for a paradigm shift in the wine world; a father and son story as Jim and Bo overcome their differences to save Chateau Montelena from creditors and what they think is an entirely ruined vintage; a romance between a young beautiful university student (Taylor) who came to learn the wine business first hand and wound up falling in love with a vintner's son who was just coming of age; and finally; the story of a young Hispanic vintner (Rodriguez) just branching out on his own. Against the backdrop of the turbulent 70's and in the shadow of the French who had dominated the world's viticulture and viniculture for centuries; these "hicks from the sticks" rose up for California; for America; for wine. And the world of wine was never the same.

"Bottle shock" describes what can happen to wine as it travels from place to place. Set in 1976, Randall Miller's widescreen docudrama concerns the real-life showdown between California's wineries and their French counterparts. Napa Valley's Jim Barrett (Lost Highway's Bill Pullman) has been plugging away for years with minimal success. A former attorney, Barrett runs Chateau Montelena with his wayward son, Bo (Chris Pine, the Star Trek prequel's Captain Kirk), who would rather do anything than assist his stern father. Bo's co-workers include Gustavo (Six Feet Under's Freddy Rodríguez) and Sam (Transformers' Rachael Taylor), who long to produce the perfect chardonnay. Naturally, the young men compete for the favors of the beautiful blonde (the movie's least interesting angle). Across the Atlantic, Steven Spurrier (Alan Rickman) struggles to keep his Parisian wine shop going (cheapskate American Dennis Farina is his only regular customer). Then Spurrier conceives a contest to attract customers; surely, his beloved French growers will put those upstart Yanks in their place. He flies to Napa to look around, and persuades the Barretts to compete. Miller and his wife, screenwriter Jody Savin, previously worked with Pullman and Rickman on Nobel Son, but decided to release Bottle Shock first. Though comparisons to Sideways will be inevitable, the filmmakers take more of a historical look at California wine country. The "Judgment of Paris" changed the face of the business forever, and they've found a lively way to recount the tale. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Beyond Bottle Shock



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Special features


Product details

  • Actors: Alan Rickman, Bill Pullman, Chris Pine, Dennis Farina, Freddy Rodriguez
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Surround), French (Dolby Surround), Spanish (Dolby Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: February 3, 2009
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 1,905 customer reviews
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,857 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
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  • Learn more about "Bottle Shock" on IMDb

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