I dunno what to make of this. I’m very into doing anything artistic related to fine beverage, but I do wish Bottle Shock would just go away, given that it shamelessly uses “based on a true story” while basing nearly nothing at all on the actual story. They didn’t utilize the key people in the tasting to consult on the story, and furthermore, these key people, including Steven Spurrier, the gentleman who organized the historic tasting, and George M. Taber, the lone journalist at the historic tasting, think very lowly of Bottle Shock. How do I know? I chatted them up on the phone when I interviewed them for Issue 2. The result? More and more people are beginning to think that Bottle Shock is actually based on a true story?
The event is the brainchild of Managing Director Gaidi Finnie, who was inspired by the 2008 film, Bottle Shock, based on the true story of how Chateau Montelena of Napa Valley had the audacity to enter its Chardonnay in a blind tasting in France in 1976. That tasting – now known as “The Judgment of Paris” – stunned the French and revolutionized the global wine industry.
See! “…who was inspired by the 2008 film, Bottle Shock, based on the true story…”. DAMMIT! They’ve swindled nearly everyone! That doesn’t mean this event will be lame, it actually sounds pretty cool.
While guests are enjoying their wine and nibbling on an array of tempting hors’ d’oeuvres from the renowned Pamplemousse Grille, an interactive stage show will take place, with performers playing winemakers from around the world – milling about the room, swirling and sniffing along with the rest of the crowd.
Then, with wine glasses in hand, guests will enter the theatre and view the first part of Bottle Shock.
During the intermission, the “winemakers,” along with the premier judging panel will be introduced – Bertrand Hug of Mille Fleur and Mr. A’s; Robert Whitley, Union-Tribune wine critic and sommelier; and Brian Donegan, sommelier at Market Restaurant, Del Mar.
Following the film, there will be a dramatized deliberation from the judges, and the top wines of the night will be revealed in true theatrical style. Coffee and Dessert will be served at the close of the event, provided by Treats by Theresa.
“The judges, along with the guests, will blind taste three California, French and New World Cabernets and Chardonnays, and have the opportunity to guess where the wines are from,” Finnie says. “Our aim is to educate local wine lovers about our theatre, while introducing our loyal patrons to some of the best wines in California and from around the world.“
Tickets for Bottle Shock: Judgment at North Coast Rep will be sold online at www.northcoastrep.org. Cost is $75 for Season 28 (2009-10) subscribers, and $95 for non-subscribers.