Bottle Shock

September 19th, 2008


Bottle Shock

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Still of Alan Rickman in Bottle ShockStill of Bill Pullman and Chris Pine in Bottle ShockRandall Miller and Jody Savin at event of Bottle ShockStill of Freddy Rodríguez and Rachael Taylor in Bottle ShockBottle ShockStill of Alan Rickman in Bottle Shock

The story of the early days of California wine making featuring the now infamous, blind Paris wine tasting of 1976 that has come to be known as "Judgment of Paris".

Release Year: 2008

Rating: 6.8/10 (6,879 voted)

Critic's Score: 56/100

Director: Randall Miller

Stars: Chris Pine, Alan Rickman, Bill Pullman

In 1976, Steven Spurrier, a sommelier in Paris, comes to the Napa Valley to take the best he can find to Paris for a blind taste test against French wine. He meets Jim Barrett, whose Chateau Montelena is mortgaged to the hilt as Jim perfects his chardonnay. There's strain in Jim's relations with his hippie son Bo and his foreman Gustavo, a Mexican farmworker's son secretly making his own wine. Plus, there's Sam, a UC Davis graduate student and free spirit, mutually attracted to both Gustavo and Bo. As Spurrier organizes the "Judgment of Paris," Jim doesn't want to participate while Bo knows it's their only chance. Barrett's chardonnay has buttery notes and a Smithsonian finish.

Writers: Jody Savin, Randall Miller

Chris Pine - Bo Barrett
Hal B. Klein - Shenky
Alan Rickman - Steven Spurrier
Bill Pullman - Jim Barrett
Jean-Michel Richaud - Maitre d'
Freddy Rodríguez - Gustavo Brambila (as Freddy Rodriguez)
Rachael Taylor - Sam Fulton
Eliza Dushku - Joe
Kirk Baily - Loan Officer
Dennis Farina - Maurice Cantavale
Philippe Bergeron - Pierre Tari
Bradley Whitford - Professor Saunders
Louis Giambalvo - George Taber
J.P. Gillain - Pierre Bréjoux (as Jean-Pierre Gillain)
Greg Collins - Trucker

Taglines: Based on a true story of love, victory and fermentation.


Official Website: Official site |

Release Date: 19 September 2008

Filming Locations: Buena Vista Vinyards - 18000 Old Winery Road, Sonoma, California, USA

Opening Weekend: $277,839 (USA) (10 August 2008) (48 Screens)

Gross: $4,016,669 (USA) (12 October 2008)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

In-joke: Maurice (Dennis Farina) adds a wry reference to labor issues with film production during Scene 24 (minute 91:54) as guests and judges arrive. He claps his hands and in bad French urges a chauffeur to get moving and park the cars, followed by "Let's go! You're not a Teamster, ya know!"

Audio/visual unsynchronized: While Bo and Sam are kissing before Bo leaves for France, she's holding his face while two wisps of hair droop down on his right side. When the camera films to show her face, all his hair is pushed back by her hands.

[first lines]
Bo Barrett: [voice-over during a vineyard pan] It wasn't always like this. Before Paris, people didn't drink our wine. I mean, my friends did. But you could hardly consider their palates discerning...
Bo Barrett: Hell, we were farmers... sort of...
[pan to empty bottles of Montelena label and several early twenties/late teens smoking hookah]

User Review

I loved it.

Rating: 10/10

I have to disagree with the negative comments. Of the six or so films I saw, this one was the best. First off, it was beautifully shot. The scenery that was captured is going to get people to visit Napa on it's own. Alan Rickman was as great as always, and Freddy Rodriguez was amazing. Bill Pullman's character, as the owner of the winery, had a terrific arc. I understand that elements of the story were fictionalized, but I come to expect that with most "based on a true story" films.

There were some great, touching scenes between the father (Pullman) and son (Chris Pine) and with Rodriguez as almost a "son he never had" type of character. Oh, and Dennis Farina nearly steals the scenes with Rickman he's so funny - I have to say nearly, because I love Rickman.

In all it was thoroughly enjoyable, and I talked it up with several other movie goers on the tram ride afterward, and EVERYONE I spoke to loved it.


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