If you have a taste for the finer things in life, a penchant for storytelling, and a love for the complexities of wine, then you’re in for a cinematic treat.
Wine has been a popular theme in movies for many years, and there are several notable films that center around wine, vineyards, and the culture of wine-making.
Wine movies have a unique ability to transport us to picturesque vineyards, introduce us to passionate winemakers, and uncork the hidden stories behind every bottle. From heartwarming dramas to enlightening documentaries, these films offer a diverse bouquet of experiences for both wine aficionados and casual viewers alike.
Hence, whether you’re a seasoned oenophile or simply curious about the world of viticulture, these movies provide an entertaining and educational experience that will leave you with a newfound appreciation for the art, science, and passion that goes into every bottle of wine.
Pour yourself a glass of your favorite vintage, sit back, and join us on a cinematic journey through the world of wine, where each sip and scene reveal a story waiting to be savored. Here are some of the most popular movies about wine of all time:
Somm is a 2012 documentary film directed by Jason Wise. This documentary delves into the intense and highly competitive world of wine sommeliers, particularly those studying to become Master Sommeliers, one of the most prestigious titles in the wine industry.
The film follows the lives and journeys of four individuals who are preparing to take the Master Sommelier examination, a notoriously challenging and demanding test of wine knowledge, tasting skills, and service expertise. The documentary provides viewers with a behind-the-scenes look at the rigorous training, preparation, and dedication required to achieve this coveted certification.
“SOMM” explores the passion, determination, and sacrifice that sommeliers must endure in their pursuit of wine expertise. It also sheds light on the deep connection between wine and culture, as well as the camaraderie and competition among sommeliers.
Red Obsession (2013)
Red Obsession is a 2013 documentary film directed by David Roach and Warwick Ross. This documentary explores the global fascination and obsession with the wines of Bordeaux, particularly the highly sought-after and expensive wines produced in this renowned region of France.
The film examines the history and allure of Bordeaux wines and their significant role in the world of wine collecting and investment. It also delves into the economic aspects of the Bordeaux wine market, including the impact of increasing demand from emerging markets, particularly China.
“Red Obsession” features interviews with wine experts, collectors, and enthusiasts, as well as wine producers and vineyard owners. It provides insights into the factors that have contributed to the rising prices and demand for Bordeaux wines, the cultural significance of wine in different societies, and the challenges faced by the industry.
A Year in Burgundy (2013)
A Year in Burgundy is a 2013 documentary film directed by David Kennard. This documentary provides an intimate and immersive look at the world of winemaking in the Burgundy region of France over the course of a year.
The film follows the lives and work of several winemaking families and winemakers in Burgundy, known for producing some of the world’s finest and most sought-after wines, particularly Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. It explores the various aspects of winemaking, from the careful tending of the vineyards to the harvest and the winemaking process itself.
“A Year in Burgundy” offers a glimpse into the traditions, techniques, and philosophies that guide winemakers in this region. It also provides a sense of the challenges and rewards of the winemaking profession, as well as the deep connection between the land, the vines, and the people who work with them.
Mondovino is a 2004 documentary film directed by Jonathan Nossiter. This documentary takes a deep and critical look at the global wine industry, focusing on the impact of globalization, commercialization, and the influence of multinational corporations on the world of wine.
The film explores various aspects of the wine industry, including the contrast between traditional, small-scale winemakers and large wine conglomerates, the struggle for authenticity and terroir (the unique characteristics of a wine’s origin), and the tensions that arise from the commercialization of wine.
“Mondovino” features interviews with winemakers, wine critics, and experts from various wine-producing regions around the world, including France, Italy, the United States, and Argentina. It paints a complex and sometimes controversial picture of the wine industry, touching on issues such as the standardization of taste, the role of wine ratings and critics, and the impact of global wine trends on local traditions.
Barolo Boys: The Story of a Revolution (2014)
Barolo Boys: The Story of a Revolution is a 2014 documentary film directed by Paolo Casalis and Tiziano Gaia. This documentary explores the revolution in winemaking that occurred in the Barolo wine region of Italy in the 1980s and 1990s.
The film focuses on a group of young winemakers who challenged the traditional winemaking practices of Barolo, which had been steeped in tradition for centuries. These winemakers adopted modern techniques and approaches, such as using small oak barrels and embracing innovative vineyard management practices.
“Barolo Boys” provides an in-depth look at the clash between tradition and innovation in winemaking and the impact it had on the reputation and future of Barolo wines. It also touches on the personal stories and struggles of the winemakers involved in this movement.
A Year in Champagne (2014)
A Year in Champagne is a 2014 documentary film directed by David Kennard. It is part of a series of wine-focused documentaries, including “A Year in Burgundy” and “A Year in Port,” which provide an in-depth look into the world of winemaking in various regions.
This particular documentary, “A Year in Champagne,” takes viewers on a journey through the Champagne region of France. It offers a behind-the-scenes look at the production of one of the world’s most famous sparkling wines, Champagne. The film showcases the work of winemakers, grape growers, and Champagne houses throughout the course of a year, highlighting the different stages of Champagne production, from vineyard care to bottling.
“A Year in Champagne” explores the rich history and traditions of Champagne-making, the challenges faced by those who produce this iconic wine, and the artistry involved in crafting it. It also provides insights into the unique climate, terroir, and culture of the Champagne region.
Sour Grapes (2016)
Sour Grapes is a 2016 documentary film directed by Jerry Rothwell and Reuben Atlas. This documentary delves into the world of high-end wine collecting and the scandal surrounding the sale of counterfeit rare wines.
The film primarily focuses on the story of Rudy Kurniawan, a young Indonesian wine enthusiast who became infamous for selling counterfeit and fraudulent bottles of rare and expensive wines. Kurniawan’s activities in the wine auction world gained notoriety, and his case ultimately led to his arrest and conviction.
“Sour Grapes” explores the rise and fall of Rudy Kurniawan, shedding light on how he fooled collectors and auction houses with his fraudulent wines, many of which he concocted in his own home. The documentary features interviews with wine experts, collectors, and individuals involved in the wine industry, providing insights into the world of wine auctions and the lengths people will go to obtain rare and valuable bottles.
Sideways is a 2004 American comedy-drama film directed by Alexander Payne and based on the novel of the same name by Rex Pickett. The film is known for its exploration of the wine culture in California’s Santa Ynez Valley and its portrayal of the midlife crises and relationships of its main characters.
The story follows two friends, Miles Raymond (played by Paul Giamatti) and Jack Cole (played by Thomas Haden Church), who embark on a road trip through the wine country of California’s Central Coast, specifically the Santa Ynez Valley, just before Jack’s impending wedding. Miles is a wine enthusiast and aspiring writer, while Jack is more interested in sowing his wild oats before getting married.
As they visit various wineries and sample wines, the film delves into themes of friendship, love, and personal growth. Miles and Jack’s journey becomes a backdrop for exploring their flaws, aspirations, and the complexities of their relationships with each other and the women they meet during their trip.
“Sideways” received critical acclaim and won several awards, including the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. It is known for its witty and poignant dialogue, well-drawn characters, and its portrayal of the wine world. The film also had a significant impact on wine tourism in the Santa Ynez Valley, increasing interest in the region’s wineries and vineyards.
Bottle Shock (2008)
Bottle Shock is a 2008 American comedy-drama film directed by Randall Miller. The movie is based on the true story of the 1976 Judgment of Paris wine competition, which had a profound impact on the wine world and catapulted California wines to international recognition.
The film stars Alan Rickman as Steven Spurrier, a British wine merchant, and Bill Pullman as Jim Barrett, the owner of Chateau Montelena, a winery in California’s Napa Valley. Spurrier decides to organize a blind taste test in Paris, pitting California wines against some of France’s finest wines, including renowned Bordeaux and Burgundy wines.
The story not only focuses on the wine competition but also delves into the lives and struggles of the winemakers and characters involved. It showcases the dedication and passion of Jim Barrett, his son Bo (played by Chris Pine), and the team at Chateau Montelena as they prepare for the competition.
“Bottle Shock” highlights the transformational moment in the wine industry when the California wines, particularly a Chardonnay from Chateau Montelena, won top honors in the blind tasting, challenging the traditional dominance of French wines and putting California’s Napa Valley on the global wine map.
A Good Year (2006)
A Good Year is a 2006 romantic comedy-drama film directed by Ridley Scott. The movie is based on the novel of the same name by Peter Mayle and stars Russell Crowe, Marion Cotillard, and Albert Finney, among others.
The story revolves around Max Skinner (played by Russell Crowe), a successful and ruthless London-based investment banker. Max inherits a picturesque vineyard and estate in the Provence region of France from his late uncle (played by Albert Finney). Initially, Max plans to sell the property for a profit, but his visit to the vineyard stirs up memories of his childhood and a more relaxed way of life.
As Max spends time in the beautiful French countryside, he begins to reevaluate his priorities and consider a different path in life. Along the way, he forms a romantic connection with a local café owner named Fanny (played by Marion Cotillard).
“A Good Year” is a feel-good film that combines romance, comedy, and a scenic French backdrop. It explores themes of rediscovery, second chances, and the importance of slowing down and enjoying life. The film celebrates the charm of the Provence region and the joys of wine, food, and love.
El Camino del Vino (2010)
El Camino del Vino is an Argentine film released in 2010. Directed by Nicolás Carreras, the movie is also known as “The Ways of Wine” in English. The film tells the story of a man named Juan Díaz, portrayed by Juan Martínez Moreno, who embarks on a journey to become a sommelier.
Juan Díaz is a young and ambitious man who decides to leave his job as a music journalist in Buenos Aires and pursue a career in wine. He enrolls in a prestigious sommelier program, which takes him on a wine-tasting journey through the vineyards of Argentina and beyond. Along the way, he encounters various characters and experiences that deepen his knowledge and passion for wine.
“El Camino del Vino” is not only a story of wine education but also a coming-of-age tale as Juan goes through personal growth and transformation during his wine journey. The film showcases the beauty of Argentina’s wine regions and the culture surrounding wine in the country.
The Secret of Santa Vittoria (1969)
The Secret of Santa Vittoria a comedy-drama directed by Stanley Kramer, is based on the Robert Crichton novel of the same name. The movie stars Anthony Quinn, Anna Magnani, and Hardy Krüger.
The film is set during World War II in the small Italian village of Santa Vittoria. The story revolves around the efforts of the villagers to hide and protect a million bottles of wine from the occupying German forces. The wine, which is a vital part of the village’s economy and identity, becomes a symbol of resistance and defiance against the Germans.
Anthony Quinn plays the role of the bumbling but lovable mayor, Italo Bombolini, who becomes an unlikely hero as he tries to outsmart the German commander (played by Hardy Krüger) and safeguard the precious wine. Anna Magnani portrays Bombolini’s wife, Rosa, who is equally determined to protect the wine and the village.
“The Secret of Santa Vittoria” combines elements of comedy, drama, and wartime resistance, and it explores themes of community, patriotism, and the value of tradition and culture. The film offers a blend of humor and heartwarming moments while providing a unique perspective on life during wartime in an Italian village.
You will be my son (2013)
You will be my son is a 2011 French drama film directed by Gilles Legrand. Although the film was released in 2011 in France, it might have had international releases, including in 2013 in some countries.
The movie tells the story of a vineyard owner named Paul de Marseul (played by Niels Arestrup) who is deeply disappointed in his own son, Martin (played by Lorànt Deutsch), due to Martin’s apparent lack of passion and dedication to the family winemaking business. When Paul becomes infatuated with Philippe (played by Nicolas Bridet), a talented and charismatic vigneron from California, he starts to see him as a potential successor. This decision creates tension and conflict within the family.
“You Will Be My Son” explores themes of family dynamics, ambition, tradition, and the complexities of the father-son relationship within the context of the wine industry. The film received positive reviews for its performances and its portrayal of the characters’ complexities. It’s a dramatic and character-driven film that offers a glimpse into the world of winemaking and the personal struggles that can arise within a family business.
Uncorked is an American drama film directed and written by Prentice Penny. The film was released on Netflix in March 2020 and is centered around the world of wine and a young man’s pursuit of becoming a sommelier.
The story follows Elijah (played by Mamoudou Athie), a young African-American man from Memphis, Tennessee, who has a passion for wine and dreams of becoming a master sommelier. However, his aspirations clash with his father’s expectations for him to take over the family barbecue restaurant business. The film explores the challenges Elijah faces in pursuing his dream and reconciling it with his familial responsibilities.
“Uncorked” is a heartfelt and engaging drama that delves into themes of family, tradition, and following one’s passion. It also provides insights into the demanding and competitive world of wine education and sommelier training.
A Walk in the Clouds (1995)
A Walk in the Clouds is a 1995 romantic drama film directed by Alfonso Arau. The movie stars Keanu Reeves, Aitana Sánchez-Gijón, and Anthony Quinn.
The story is set in the aftermath of World War II and follows a young soldier named Paul Sutton (played by Keanu Reeves) who returns to the United States. On a journey home, he encounters a pregnant woman named Victoria Aragon (played by Aitana Sánchez-Gijón) who is desperate to find a husband to avoid bringing shame to her traditional Mexican-American family. Paul agrees to pose as her husband for a brief visit to her family’s vineyard in Napa Valley, California.
Once at the vineyard, Paul becomes entangled in the Aragon family’s lives and their struggles, including their wine-producing business. He develops a romantic connection with Victoria and finds himself drawn to her family’s traditions and the beauty of the vineyard.
The film explores themes of love, family, tradition, and the healing power of nature. It’s a romantic and heartwarming story set against the backdrop of the picturesque Napa Valley wine country. “A Walk in the Clouds” is known for its lush cinematography and its portrayal of the importance of love and connection in the face of societal expectations and challenges.
Babette’s Feast (1987)
Babette’s Feast is a 1987 Danish drama film directed by Gabriel Axel. The movie is an adaptation of the short story of the same name by Isak Dinesen (the pen name of Danish author Karen Blixen). “Babette’s Feast” is known for its beautifully crafted storytelling, themes of selflessness, and its portrayal of the art of gastronomy.
The story is set in a remote Danish village on the Jutland Peninsula in the late 19th century. It revolves around the lives of two elderly sisters, Martine and Philippa, who are the daughters of a strict religious leader. The sisters have given up romantic relationships and worldly pleasures to devote themselves to their father’s religious congregation.
The narrative takes a turn when Babette, a French refugee from the Franco-Prussian War, arrives in the village and becomes the sisters’ housekeeper and cook. After many years, Babette wins a substantial sum of money in a lottery and decides to use it to prepare a lavish French meal, a feast, for the congregation on the occasion of their father’s centenary.
The film explores themes of sacrifice, art, and the transformative power of food. The sumptuous meal Babette prepares not only satisfies the villagers’ physical hunger but also opens their hearts and minds, transcending the strict confines of their faith.
“Babette’s Feast” received critical acclaim and won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1988. It is celebrated for its storytelling, character development, and its celebration of the culinary arts as a means of communion and expression. The film is a beautifully crafted and emotionally resonant work of cinema.
Year of the Comet (1992)
Year of the Comet is a romantic comedy film that was released in 1992. The movie was directed by Peter Yates and stars Tim Daly and Penelope Ann Miller in the lead roles.
The story revolves around Margaret Harwood (played by Penelope Ann Miller), a young and intelligent Scottish woman who works as a wine expert and is tasked with the job of retrieving a rare bottle of wine known as the “Year of the Comet.” This valuable wine is on a journey from Scotland to Paris, and Margaret’s pursuit of it becomes intertwined with the adventures of a charming thief named Philippe (played by Tim Daly).
Year of the Comet combines elements of romance, comedy, and adventure as Margaret and Philippe find themselves on a quest to locate the rare wine while dealing with various obstacles and growing closer to each other.
Autumn Tale (1998)
Autumn Tale is a 1998 French romantic drama film directed by Eric Rohmer. It is part of Rohmer’s series of films known as “Tales of the Four Seasons,” and it explores themes of love, relationships, and the changing seasons.
The film follows the story of a middle-aged widow named Magali (played by Béatrice Romand) who is encouraged by her best friend, Isabelle (played by Marie Rivière), to consider remarriage. Isabelle places a personal ad in a newspaper on Magali’s behalf without her knowledge, leading to a series of romantic encounters and misunderstandings. Magali’s daughter, Rosine (played by Alexia Portal), also gets involved in trying to find a suitable partner for her mother.
Autumn Tale is known for its subtle and realistic portrayal of the complexities of human relationships and the nuances of love in adulthood. It’s a character-driven film that explores the choices and desires of its well-drawn characters as they navigate the challenges and opportunities presented by autumn, both in the natural world and in their personal lives.
Paris, Wine & Romance (2020)
Paris, Wine & Romance is a romantic television movie that premiered on the Hallmark Channel in 2019, not 2022. The film is directed by Alex Zamm and features a romantic storyline set against the backdrop of Paris and the world of wine.
The story follows Isabella (played by Jen Lilley), a young woman who travels to Paris to attend a business meeting about wine. While in Paris, she meets Jacques (played by Dan Jeannotte), a charming French winemaker. Together, they explore the city, its vineyards, and develop a romantic connection.
“Paris, Wine & Romance” is a Hallmark Channel movie, known for its feel-good and wholesome romantic stories. While it may not be a critically acclaimed film, it is suitable for those who enjoy light-hearted, romantic movies set in beautiful locations like Paris and the wine country of France.
Thus, these wine movies have provided audiences with a diverse range of experiences, from the heartwarming and romantic to the eye-opening and thought-provoking. These films have not only celebrated the beauty of vineyards and the craftsmanship behind winemaking but also explored the intricate relationships, passions, and struggles that often surround this age-old beverage. These cinematic journeys remind us that wine is not just a drink but a cultural phenomenon, a symbol of tradition, and a source of endless fascination.