Movie review: Bottle Shock

We connoisseurs enjoy a good film as much as the next cinema-goer, and it’s ever so much of a pleasure to find a quality film that happens to be centered around wine. Well, if we haven’t found just the ticket!

This one’s a few years old, but an absolute corker, if you’ll pardon the expression. Yet it remains utterly delightful, especially as it offers an opportunity to see the much-missed Alan Rickman in one of his best comedic roles.

He plays a snobbish English wine merchant living in Paris in the years when Californian wine was beginning to see real popularity. Aghast, he travels to the USA to investigate, and ends up butting heads with the bright, cheerful winemakers of the Valley.


You also get to know the passionate young winemakers in the family operations who are trying to better their parent’s vintages, including a latino worker who says he can taste his heritage in their terroir, which is borne out by his extraordinary skills.


In the end, Rickman’s character comes up with a challenge, which really took place, of a blind taste test between Californian winemakers and the French masters, in which the Californians claimed top honors, to the astonishment of all. It’s good fun, and quite emotionally satisfying as well.

The absolute best scene, for all of the emotion and narrative joy of the rest of the film, is surely watching Rickman bite gingerly into a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken by the side of the highway.


The film is on Netflix at last account, and is on wide release in most countries. We’re utterly stupefied as to why it didn’t garner more praise or attention when it first came out: it’s truly wonderful, especially for the wine-loving film connoisseur.