Bottle Shock | Chicago Reader

Bottle Shock

Loosely based on true events, this light-bodied comedy is set in 1976 in scenic Napa Valley, where Jim Barrett (Bill Pullman), founder of the Chateau Montelena winery, has staked his business on developing the perfect chardonnay. Across the Atlantic, British oenophile Steven Spurrier (Alan Rickman), his Parisian wine shop failing, dreams up the “Judgment of Paris,” a blind tasting competition to pit traditional French labels against the upstart Californians. Rickman adds a welcome astringency to a story padded with such fictional characters as a free-loving intern (Rachael Taylor) and a freeloading bon vivant (Dennis Farina) and slowed by a series of unconvincing boxing matches between the vintner and his hippie son (Chris Pine). Randall Miller directed. PG-13, 108 min.

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