We are collecting movies that have some sort of a wine theme. Here are some reviews FYI.

Our very favorite so far is “Bottle Shock”, with Alan Rickman (Professor Snape from Harry Potter fame), Dennis Farina and Freddy Rodriguez. Based on the book “Judgment of Paris California vs. France” by George M. Taber. This is an inspiring true story of the 1976 tasting in Paris where California wines beat the French wines in competition for the first time in history.

Norm and I have watched it at least 20 or maybe 30 times. We are motivated by the story of a then struggling small Napa Valley winery, Chateau Montelena and their dedication and tenacity which led to not only their success, but to putting California on the world wine map. We visited Chateau Montelena earlier this year, and have a copy of the book signed by the author.

Another good movie is “A Good Year” with Russell Crowe, Albert Finney and Marion Cotillard. Well Russell Crowe – not much else to say, but the movie is set at a lovely old chateau in a beautiful vineyard in the south of France.

An old standby, which we have on VCR tape is “A Walk in the Clouds” with Keanu Reeves, Anthony Quinn, and Giancarlo Giannini. Set in Napa Valley, again at a beautiful Mission style winery and home and a vineyard. Romance, struggle leading to victory over odds, etc., etc.

One that has not much social redeeming quality, but is silly, fun and set at a winery is “A Weekend in the Country” with Dudley Moore, Betty White and Jack Lemmon. A piece of trivia not many people know (even staff at the winery) is that it was filmed at Keyways Winery in Temecula. Well, not so much the winery building, but at the home that was owned by Carl Keys on the hill behind the winery. Must find that movie and add it to the collection, I haven’t seen it in years and Norm has never seen it.

Not really a wine movie, but ends in a vineyard is French Kiss. I’d seen it a couple of times and never noticed the vineyard connection until recently.

And if you’re in the mood for a good book, Peter Mayle wrote “A Year in Provence”, and “Toujours Provence” with wineries and vineyards, and reads like part memoir, part homeowner’s manual and part travelogue with lots of good humor. His descriptions of weather and fires whipped up by hot dry winds sound just like Ramona. This was turned into a mini series, on British TV. Must order that too!