Decanter.com speaks exclusively to director Jason Wise about the third instalment of the ‘Somm’ documentary film series, currently in production and with a possible release later this year.
A third ‘Somm’ film is in production and features an all-star cast of wine’s most respected figures, including Steven Spurrier, the man responsible for staging the 1976 Judgement of Paris and a long-serving Decanter consultant editor. Respected wine critic Jancis Robinson MW and renowned master sommelier Fred Dame also feature.
The new film will feature the trio together in the same room, tasting through some of the world’s finest wines.
‘There’s no question that this is the absolute best cast I’ve had, times 1,000,’ said director Jason Wise of the currently untitled film.
The first ‘Somm’, released in 2012, followed four Master Sommelier hopefuls as they tirelessly prepared for the notoriously rigorous exam.
A 2015 sequel, ‘Somm: Into the Bottle’, centered on everything that goes into making wine, from weather to war to scores.
Wise said this next film was ‘the most ambitious of the three’, and will shift the focus to the people who most significantly shaped the wine industry.
‘The second film was more of a parenthesis around the first one. We needed to show what these somms are crazy about,’ said Wise.
‘For the third one, we really wanted to go back to the people who got us to where we are in wine today.’
While the cast and crew shot in locations like Burgundy, Napa Valley, and London, much of the documentary will focus on two separate events filmed in New York City and Paris, sparking some of wine’s most classic debates.
‘Maybe the three greatest wine tasters in history, from reputation and talent, meet in Paris,’ said Wise, referring to Spurrier, Robinson, and Dame.
‘And then the greatest up-and-coming tasters meet in New York. I don’t think it’s a secret that we’re going to get into the Judgement of Paris, but I don’t think you’ve seen anyone get into it the way we are.’
The majority of the original ‘Somm’ cast is set to return, in addition to some cast members from the sequel, like California vintner Steve Matthiasson and Wine Folly co-founder Madeline Puckette.
Other newcomers include master wine exporter Becky Wasserman and CorkBuzz CEO Laura Maniec.
There is currently no set release date for the film, but Wise said it could be as early as autumn 2018. He added that he fully expects—and looks forward to—some backlash from the wine world once it debuts.
‘If a movie doesn’t get you in trouble, no one will watch it,’ he said.