Bottle Shock: Better than Sideways?

Bottle Shock, a biopic about wine connoisseur Steven Spurrier, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival back in January and will be hitting theaters this August. Spurrier is famous for staging the legendary Paris Tasting of 1976, in which wines from California unexpectedly were rated more highly than some of the primo wines of Burgundy and Bordeaux.

The movie was originally billed as “the next ‘Sideways,’” but early reviews hint that it might be more satisfying than the Pinot Noir–soaked flick of 2004. The Hollywood Reporter makes a bold statement by calling Bottle Shock‘Rocky’ for wine aficionados.” “Because of the wine backdrop, some will compare the film to ‘Sideways,’ but the comparisons are not really fair. This is a different kind of movie, a classic underdog tale with lots of humor and heart,” the Reporter writes.

Variety offers a mixed review, but claims that “Wine lovers won’t just sip but guzzle a lot of this down.” Food & Wine’s Mouthing Off blogger shares some fun facts about the film, admits to having a celebrity crush on featured actor Chris Pine (who is clearly much prettier than Paul Giamatti), and makes a prediction about the movie’s potential popularity and influence: “I’m betting Chardonnay sales get an added boost after the film’s release just as Pinot Noir was catapulted into the spotlight post-‘Sideways,’” she writes.

If you’ve got a favorite California Chardonnay, it might be in your best interest to stock up before Bottle Shock comes to a theater near you.