Wine and Popcorn: A Guide to the 10 Best Wine Movies Ever!
Wine has a noteworthy presence on the silver screen and has become the source of inspiration for many backdrops, story settings, plots and characters.
Presented below are ten amazing wine movies that just make you want to sit back and relax with some popcorn or cheese and of course, a good bottle of wine.
1. A Good Year (2006)
British investment broker and bond trader, Max Skinner (Crowe) discovers that his dear uncle has passed away and that he’s inherited a chateau and vineyard in Provence. He then finds himself in the French wine country with his first intention to sell the property. There, he discovers a new way of life begins to fall in love with the romantic and poetic routines of the vineyard and the laidback life in Southern France. (IMDB)
Max Skinner: I would like a lifetime spent with an irrational and suspicious goddess, some short-tempered jealousy on the side, and a bottle of wine that tastes like you, a glass that’s never empty.
Francis Duflot: [Chuckles] In California, they don’t make wine. They make Hawaiian Punch.
2. Sideways (2004)
Directed by Alexander Payne, this 2004 comedy-drama follows two middle-aged men, Miles Raymond, a wine aficionado, unsuccessful writer and unhappy middle school English teacher as he takes his former roommate and soon-to-be-married friend, Jack Cole on a road trip to Santa Barbara County Wine Country. The movie has won several awards for their screenplay and the actors have also been awarded with accolades for their stellar performances. (IMDB)
Jack: Man! That’s tasty!
Miles Raymond: That’s 100% pinot noir. Single vineyard. They don’t even make it any more.
Jack: Pinot noir?
Miles Raymond: Mmm-hmm.
Jack: Then how come it’s white?
Miles Raymond: [laughs] Oh, Jesus. Don’t ask questions like that up in wine country. They’ll think you’re some kind of dumbshit, OK?
3. French Kiss (1995)
Directed by Lawrence Kasdan, this American romantic comedy is about a woman named Kate as she flies to France to make things right with her estranged fiancé, who called her one night drunk, saying that he has fallen deeply in love with a beautiful French woman. In the flight, she gets conned by Luc who used her to smuggle in a stolen diamond. Not a conventional romance, the two eventually fall in love and she learns that Luc, among many other things is an avid wine lover and owner of a vineyard. (IMDB)
Luc: First, you must take some wine. Can you describe it, the taste?
Kate: It’s a nice red wine.
Luc: I think you can do better.
Kate: A bold wine with a hint of sophistication and lacking in pretension.
Kate: Actually, I was just talking about myself.
4. Bottle Shock (2009)
This 2008 comedy-drama film directed by Randall Miller revolves around the 1976 wine competition coined as “the Judgment of Paris” when a California wine defeated a French wine in a blind taste test. It is not completely accurate to actual events but is definitely enjoyable. (IMDB)
Steven Spurrier: “Wine is sunlight, held together by water” – the poetic wisdom of the Italian physicist, philosopher, and stargazer, Galileo Galilei. It all begins with the soil, the vine, the grape. The smell of the vineyard – like inhaling birth. It awakens some ancestral, some primordial… anyway, some deeply imprinted, and probably subconscious place in my soul.
5. The Secret of Santa Vittoria (1969)
Although an oldie, no list would be complete without this 1969 film based by the best-selling novel of the same title by Robert Crichton. Set in the summer of 1942 during World War II, Italo Bombolini, mayor of the wine-making town of Santa Vittoria commissions the hiding of a million wine bottles in a cave before the Germans arrive to steal them. (IMDB)
Italo Bombolini: [the town council wants to resist German occupation] Every Santa Vittorian has known for the last thousand years: brave men and good wine – they don’t last long.
6. This Earth is Mine (1959)
This 1959 American film directed by Henry King follows the lives of the Rambeaus, a California winemaking family dynasty in their attempts to survive Prohibition in the United States. Elizabeth, an English cousin of the Rambeau family goes to California for a casual visit but later finds out that she is forced to be wed to a cousin from another family branch in order to consolidate the wine family business. She then finds herself in a very conflicting position of keeping the family heritage of the winery pure and safe or doing what she ultimately wants. (IMDB)
7. Mondovino (2004)
With the title literally meaning “world of wine”, this documentary tackles the globalization and impact of the various winemaking regions around the world. It aims to answer some very fundamental questions such as whether or not a small, passionate winemaker really has the chance to truly survive in the industry. Directed by American filmmaker Jonathan Nossiter, he addresses these questions and issues with an intimate look into the world of wine. (IMDB)
Robert Parker: “I believe that the responsibility of the winemaker is to take that fruit and get it into the bottle as the most natural and purest expression of that vineyard, of the grape varietal or blend, and of the vintage.”
8. Corked (2009)
Corked is a “mockumentary” and a hilarious tale about four different wineries in California and how their fate intertwines as a famous celebrity wine critic is visiting the area. The movie focuses on a billionaire, a rich kid, a clueless winery manager and a Californian winery owner as they all strive to get the wine critic’s undying attention. (IMDB)
9. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
You may be trying to recall the last time you have watched this movie and wonder where the wine drinking was in that movie. This film, directed by Jonathan Demme makes the list due to the iconic line that has been uttered by the brilliant psychiatrist, cannibal and serial killer, Hannibal Lecter. Although not a probable food pairing, the line did make it to one of the most recognizable quotes in movie history, which involved some terrifying wine pairing suggestion. (IMDB)
Hannibal Lecter: “A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.”
10. A Walk in the Clouds
Directed by Alfonso Arau, this American-Mexican movie revolves around the story of how Paul, a man returning from war, meets a young woman on a bus who was pregnant but not married. She was afraid that her father might kill her. Paul offered her to pose as her husband to help her face her father. The backdrop to this romantic movie is a beautiful vineyard and wine drinking is an established activity throughout. It also has a grape stomping scene. And who doesn’t love a grape stomping scene? (IMDB)
Don Pedro Aragon: Newlyweds. What else do they do but make love and war?
Don Pedro Aragon: Talking between men and women never solves anything. Where we think, they feel. They are creatures of the heart.