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on June 9, 2012
First I did not buy this earlier because of the critical reviews which are unfair and not factual. In my DVD I could read all the subtitles. As far as documentaries go, it's great! Most documentaries I cannot wait for the ending, but this kept me intrigued the entire time.

The cinematography captures the visual beauty of these regions, and just that alone makes it worth watching. Beyond that, the candid seens between members in the winemaking families is thought provoking and you can see their passion for it.

As an aside the documentarian juxtaposes their dogs with the winemaker or wine critic. There was hilarious seen where Robert Parker is espousing something and the camera focuses on the Parker's bulldog who has a big fat frown on his face as though tacitly disagreeing. Other seens suggest wealthy winemakes have uptight dogs while the struggling winemakers have very happy dogs.

If you enjoy wine and wine tasting this is a must watch and it's without the crowds or the gas consumption.
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on April 5, 2011
Fascinating presentation of the wine industry.
One way, new technique, as oxygenation, give a ready to drink product, enhance by taste of vanilla graciously provided by new oak barrel, represented by Michel Rolland.
Another way, traditionally respectful of the terroir and grape, represented by De Montille doter and father, which accept the nature and her variations which need much longer "elevage" (aging) in cave to reach excellence.

After all this debate, it is interesting to note than Guigal, the great Rhone winery, did not produce Côtes-du-Rhônes 2008 as the year was not permitted to achieve his quality expectation.
I also reed in Decanter report than 2007 was a mediocre year in Bordeaux. Did the Chateau should not produce any Appellation to respect their client and sale their mediocre wine under generic Bordeaux label?

Under all this debate of respect of tradition opposed to respond to the demand of consumer.
Which consumer are able to accept than a Medoc should not be drink before 10 or 15 years of cellaring?
Producers know that. Media's will not tell you as ... their come the money, big money.

Today media report on reader - advertiser team. Reader wants to read a dream story.
It's not any more question of taste, only question of investment.
Big families are opposed to poor farmer which could never expect produce wine in another planet.
Some people protecting their land from developer to create or protect Environmental Park opposed to powerful money conglomerate which want to create more opportunities for their dreamer client.

This fine tune movie exposes us to various aspect and choice.
Did we want to pay the price and respect the nature?
Did we prefer buy ready to drink? "Why pay more"

Consumer like vanilla, industry will produce vanilla.
Vanilla is too rare and too expensive.
Who care? Industry will produce new way to make product taste vanilla without paying for vanilla or better, without vanilla. Media's will describe as "another layer of complexity with buttery..."

Medoc's, Californian Cabernet, Meursault... needs 10 or 15 years to be at their best.
Industry will find new way to make it ready in 2 years.
A smart move as these 2 years will give time to various Media to make many report, to sale plenty of advertising, industry will make a lot of pre-release tasting... and increase the value of the product.

Thanks to all the participants and to Jonathan Nossiter for having exposed our choice.
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on September 3, 2017
We seldom buy DVDs - we really have to be sure that a film is one that we will watch more than once. We originally took this film out of the library twice before deciding to buy it.
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on September 5, 2006
I am not sure why there are so many negative reviews, especially from people who claim they are wine collectors or wine lovers. I am a wine lover and I happen to work in the wine industry. Yes, the camera work is a bit shakey but I happen to think that the camreaman zooming in on a dog or other object now and then can be a little more interesting than a 2 minute shot of someone talking. Yes, the director is obviously biased against the Mondavis, Gallos and KJs of the world. Yes, he does ask some pointless, antagonistic questions and does take some cheap shots. However, listening to the Mondavis, Mothilie, deVillaine, Rolland, Braodbent or Parker talk is hugely insightful. There is so much insight from both camps...any real lover of wine will take quite a bit away from this movie. The filmmaker does a good job of showing that there are many people in the wine industry who are much more attracted to the glitz and glamour of the biz than they are attracted to the wine (a great example is the ex-CEO & wife who create a Tuscan villa in Napa, as well as the [...] who leads tours at Mondavi). All in all, this is a highly informative movie that will educate and enlighten anyone who is interested in the wine biz. I watched all the outtakes and still would have liked the movie to be longer...there must have been so many good interviews left on the cutting room floor.
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VINE VOICEon July 22, 2005
It is hard to imagine that a documentary with such elemental production values, shot in jerky handycam style, could be such an incisive, touching, and powerful examination of the wine industry and its personae. But it is.

The story is of the nobility, the megapolists, the honest and stubborn traditionalists, and the tiny producers on the very margins of the industry. The culture of wine production, the interplay between producers, critics, and consultants is exposed in vivid detail. What emerges is the story of mega wine companies who, in loose alliance with some dominant American wine critics (who come across as alternately earnest and self-important fools), dominate the industry, not only in sales, but in practice--replacing traditional methods with newer Americanized ones, and in the dominance of a particular consultant, who spreads the same taste over the globe, homogenizing wines at the expense of uniqueness.

The heroes are the little guys: the small wine producers, the Mexican laborers, the tiny vineyards in Brazil and Argentina, and the traditionalists in Britain, France and Italy. The villains are the vapid and self-absorbed Staglins, the good cop-bad cop, bearded-clean shaven Mondavis, the MBA-speak infected French wine CEOs, the Quiet American naivete of Robert Parker and the Ugly American arrogance of Jonathan Suckling, and the oleaginous Michel Rolland, wine homogenizer to the stars. Micro-oxygenate!

This film has all the right values and will be loved and hated by all the right people. Coming from a background in a parallel industry, the portraits rang true. Enthusiastically recommended.
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on October 25, 2009
Dvd played fine on my newer Samsung that has both European and North American DVD compatability. Did not play at all on my older Samsung DVD or my neighbor's new Sony Blue Ray player. I tried it in my HP desktop computer using HP DVD software and I got a message that my dvd drive was set for North American region and I should select to change to the seting to the European region. I did that and it played fine.
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on February 26, 2014
This is the unabashedly delicious story of how the Wine Spectator and the California wineries usurped France's dominance. The centuries' old vineyards awakened to find their share of the market slipping away to ingenuity, technology and the brazen belief that California had a better product. The video is a nonstop introduction to US marketing and it is also sad: the French relied on their historic role of wine-dominance that evaporated when California made history while the French continued making old wine.
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on January 29, 2014
Great documentary! Read my review on the series!! This could be seen as an introduction before watching the whole series!!!
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on December 23, 2007
It is a very "european" view of wines and wine industry. Some of the critics to influential people are true, but most opinions come from tye traditional way of producing and marketing wine, and this definitely changed. Thera are very massive and very exclusive wines. The lasts will continue to be produced and marketed as allways, but there are millions of people that know nothing about terroir, but need to know about brands, varietals or countries to get a good product. This is the way wines are to be marketed in this century.
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on December 3, 2015
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