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Bottle Shock: The Judgment at North Coast?


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?

From the press release:
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.

From the press release:
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.


  1. Dirty | Friday, April 24, 2009

    Bottle Shock was was horrendous. I typed some truly nasty stuff first, but had to erase it. How can anyone say they were INSPIRED by the film?

    I’m biting my lips, tongue, teeth etc…

  2. Alan Kropf | Friday, April 24, 2009

    Ya, it was pretty terrible, which sucks to say, but they didn’t even try…they clearly just wanted to use the wine angle to get people into theaters…

  3. Julie | Saturday, April 25, 2009

    It’s too bad when they miss use something as beautiful as wine and it’s history.

  4. Erin | Sunday, April 26, 2009

    “Wanted to use the wine angle to get people into theaters”, that is exactly how I felt about Sideways. I wanted my life back after that one.

  5. Ashley Lauren | Monday, April 27, 2009

    Awful movie, awful soundtrack. Made me hate wine (for about an hour and a half)

  6. Alan Kropf | Monday, April 27, 2009

    Well said Ashley, well said…

  7. Jeff | Tuesday, April 28, 2009

    Ashley..Alan.. I’ll take your word for it. I’ll avoid this movie. Bummer… it probably could have been really cool too.

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