Bottle Shock, one of the films about the 1976 Paris Tasting, has finished shooting and will premier at the Sundance Film Festival in January.
The film, which publicists say is ‘loosely based’ on the now-legendary tasting in Paris when American wines trounced the French in a blind tasting, was shot entirely on location in Napa and Sonoma and is now in the editing phase.
Filming took place in the town of Sonoma, Carneros vineyards and in wineries such as Chateau Montelena and Kunde throughout much of August and September.
Bottle Shock is directed by Randall Miller and stars Bill Pullman, Eliza Dushku, Alan Rickman and Chris Pine. It tells the story of the Barretts, son Bo and father Jim from Chateau Montelena, whose 1973 Chardonnay beat four Burgundies and half a dozen American whites in 1976.
Producer Jody Savin said, ‘This was a seminal moment in the democratization of wine. It’s also very much a father-son movie.’
Alan Rickman, who plays Steven Spurrier, the organiser of the original tasting and now Decanter’s consultant editor, said, ‘Wine levels everybody. It’s made by man, and made by nature. It kind of shuts you up. And it’s very complex, even the weeds.’
Meanwhile, The Judgement of Paris is still in the early stages of production.
The relationship between the two projects has been characterised by bad feeling. In July The Judgement of Paris team threatened to sue Bottle Shock for misrepresentation and defamation, claiming it was fictionalising the event.
Nadine Jolson, a spokeswoman for Bottle Shock, said that the film was about the same historic event, ‘and nobody owns the rights to that.’
Written by Bob Ecker in California, and Adam Lechmere