“A good wine is like a good film: it lasts an instant and leaves a taste of glory in your mouth; it is new in each sip and, as with movies, it is born and reborn in each taster.” (Federico Fellini)
Welcome, film and wine lovers! If there are two pleasures that fit together perfectly, they are, without a doubt, the seventh art and the exquisite world of wine. Today, we will take you on a cinematographic journey through a selection of famous films that take us by the hand through exciting stories linked to wine and its environment.
1. Sideways (2004) – USA
Directed by Alexander Payne, this dramatic comedy tells the story of two friends on their journey through the vineyards of California before the wedding of one of them. The film had a notable effect on the wine market at the time, boosting the popularity of Pinot Noir at the expense of Merlot.
2. A Good Year (2006) – USA
Ridley Scott invites us to picturesque Provence, France, where an investment expert, played by Russell Crowe, inherits a vineyard, and begins to reshape his life. The film was shot in beautiful wine landscapes and had a positive impact on tourism in the region.
3.”Mondovino” (2004) – Argentina-France-Italy-USA co-production
According to the Filmaffinity site, film producer Jonathan Nossiter is also a sommelier, consultant, and wine writer. Mondovino is an acclaimed documentary in which Nossiter traveled for three years across three continents. He filmed the world of wine from its family business, generational and industrial aspects, reflecting all the processes of production, distribution, and consumption of this universal and millenary product. In 2004 it was nominated for the Palme d’Or (best film) at the Cannes Film Festival and the César Award for best European film.
4. A Walk in the Clouds (1995) – USA
The idyllic Napa Valley, California, becomes the setting for this passionate romantic adventure directed by Alfonso Arau. A soldier returning from the front (Keanu Reeves) and the daughter of a vineyard owner (Aitana Sánchez-Gijón) must fight to defend an impossible love in beautiful natural settings. It is an adaptation of the Italian film “Cuatro pasos por las nubes” (Quattro passi fra le nuvole, by Alessandro Blasetti, 1942).
5. Somm (2012) – Canada
Another must-see documentary for wine lovers. Directed by Jason Wise, it follows four candidates as they prepare for the demanding Master Sommelier exam, one of the most prestigious titles in the world of wine.
6. The Secret of Santa Vittoria (1969) – USA
Travel back in time to World War II Italy, where a small town known for its tasty wine struggles to protect a million bottles of wine from German troops. Anthony Quinn and Anna Magnani star in this touching blend of comedy and drama, directed by Stanley Kramer.
7. Bottle shock (2008) – United States
Set against the backdrop of California’s Napa Valley wine region, this comedy-drama by Randall Miller chronicles the famous 1976 wine competition, where Californian wines challenge French wines in a blind tasting.
8. The Year of the Comet (1992) – United States
Margaret Harwood is a British winemaker whose father sends her on a routine assignment to a remote castle in Scotland. But what appears to be a normal job cataloging an old wine soon turns into an extraordinary find. Maggie discovers a rare 150-year-old bottle of wine, bottled in the year of the passage of Halley’s comet, that supposedly belonged to Napoleon. The problem is that other people also want to get their hands on such a valuable treasure. Filmed in Scotland and the French Côte d’Azur. Directed by Peter Yates.
9. Days of Wine and Roses (1962) – USA
Directed by Blake Edwards. With Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick, this drama tells the story of Joe Clay and Kirsten Anudsen: they fall in love, get married, have a baby and everything seems to be going well. But Joe drinks more and more and drags Kirsten into alcoholism. Nominated for 5 Hollywood Oscars, it won the 1962 Oscar for Best Song for “Days of Wine and Roses” with music by Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer.
10. Stolen Beauty (Io ballo da sola, 1996) – Italy.
After her mother’s suicide, a young American girl (Liv Tyler) goes on holiday to Tuscany and stays with some eccentric friends. There she awakens to love and passion. As she strikes up a special friendship with a dying author (Jeremy Irons), she sets out to find out the identity of her real father, a secret jealously guarded by her mother. This romantic drama by Tuscan director Bernardo Bertolucci was nominated for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival for Best Film.
For a wine lover, one of the best things to do indoors is to pour a glass of wine and enjoy it while watching one of his favorite movies. If the theme is also this beverage and/or its terroirs, the experience is, plain and simple, unbeatable. Speaking of terroirs, be sure to enjoy the magnificent landscapes of a region like Tuscany, in iconic films such as “Gladiator” (2000), “La vita è bella” (1997) and “Under the Tuscan Sun” (2003), among many others.
However, the best plan is for you to embark on a movie trip yourself. At Viavinum we will help you make it happen.