Bottle Shock

2008

Bottle Shock

Critics Consensus

Bottle Shock fails to properly utilize the inspiring true tale at its core, settling instead for an ordinary, plodding account.

49%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 123

58%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 18,849
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Movie Info

Brought together by a curious twist of fate on a dusty California road, a wandering vintner and a struggling winemaker find both their lives, and their careers, forever transformed at a blind Parisian wine tasting that introduced the world to the extraordinary wines of Napa Valley. The year is 1976, and Napa Valley has yet to gain the reputation as one of world's best-known wine regions. Jim Barrett (Bill Pullman) has sacrificed everything in life to realize his dream of creating the perfect Chateau Montelena. Yet despite the fact that Jim's Napa Valley vineyard has great potential, his son, Bo (Chris Pine), doesn't seem to have much interest in the family business. Most days, Jim and Bo can be found trading blows in their backyard boxing ring -- their attempts to knock a bit of sense into one another usually amounting to naught. Meanwhile, in Paris, British expatriate Steven Spurrier (Alan Rickman) finds necessity dictating that he educate Parisians on the latest wines to come out of California. Steven owns the Académie du Vin, and is eager to travel to the United States in order to ensure that he has conducted his research properly. Little did Steven and Jim realize that they were both on course for a chance meeting that would revolutionize the wine industry while opening up a whole new world of possibilities for wine lovers everywhere. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Cast

Alan Rickman
as Steven Spurrier
Bill Pullman
as Jim Barrett
Chris Pine
as Bo Barrett
Miguel Sandoval
as Mr. Garcia
Bradley Whitford
as Prof. Saunders
Kirk Baily
as Loan Officer
Philippe Bergeron
as Pierre Tari
Louis Giambalvo
as George Taber
Greg Collins
as Trucker
Marcia Firesten
as Karen Thompson
Matthew Kimbrough
as Michael Robbins
Kathy McGraw
as Ms. Relyea
Al Liner
as Hotel Clerk
Deborah O'Brien (II)
as TWA Attendent
Brian Leonard
as Passenger #1
Karl-Heinz Teuber
as German Passenger
Maximilienne Ewalt
as Passenger #2
Frank Avila
as Field Hand
Richard Gross
as Lt. Randall
Valerie Long
as Vinter #2
James Carraway
as Vinter #3
Marian Filali
as Odette Kahn
Phillipe Simon
as Claude Dubois-Millot
Andre Tardieu
as Upscale Man
Jody Savin
as Upscale Woman
Roy Jimenez
as Shopkeeper
View All

News & Interviews for Bottle Shock

Critic Reviews for Bottle Shock

All Critics (123) | Top Critics (38) | Fresh (60) | Rotten (63)

  • It's not in the same league as Sideways but it has a fragrant sense of the beauty of wine and winemaking, not just the drinking.

    Apr 3, 2009 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…
  • Rickman is priceless as the self-parodying wine snob, stealing every scene he is in by continually pulling the rug from under himself.

    Mar 27, 2009 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…
  • The people who made Bottle Shock obviously love their wine. They're not that crazy about the French. And they are firm believers in the screenwriting rule of leaving no underdog-formula cliché unused.

    Aug 22, 2008 | Rating: 2/4
  • Rickman adds a welcome astringency.

    Aug 22, 2008 | Full Review…
  • Bottle Shock is... utterly charming.

    Aug 15, 2008 | Rating: 4/5
  • Unfortunately, Miller can't decide whether he's doing a relationship movie or one about the intrigue of world-class winemaking. Mingling the two left me with a somewhat sour aftertaste.

    Aug 15, 2008 | Rating: C | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Bottle Shock

  • Dec 04, 2012
    This is a nice little docu-dramedy concerning the turning point for California's wine industry. It's 1976 and a British wine snob named Steven Spurrier feels that no wine can compare to French wine. After hearing that Napa Valley has a growing industry, he decides to investigate, and see if these supposed hicks really have any idea what they're doing. He decides that a blind tasting to compare the California stock with France's finest is in order, but upon trying some of what California has to offer, he realizes there might actually be something promising with their offerings. I was surprised by this. I didn't really know what to expect, but I found it rather enjoyable. Thankfully it's not a rip off of Sideways, just a different take on the some subject. Plus, this one's based on true events, and though it may be a formulaic and predictable underdog story, that doesn't mean it's no less a joy to watch. I think it may have been better had it been a miniseries, as that would have allowed for all of the California vintners to be fully developed and profiled, instead of just a select few, but the gets across anyway. Alan Rickman is great though a bit on the nose as Spurrier. Bill Pullman is quite good as vintner Jim Barrett, and Chris Pine is a scene stealing delight as his hippie son Bo. The film might not be anything fresh or outstanding, but it's nevertheless a nice little offering.
    Chris W Super Reviewer
  • Jun 02, 2011
    Bottleshock is the story of the 1976 Paris Wine tasting and how a group of Winters from the Napa Valley in California outclassed the French Wines at the tasting. One of these wines is the now famous Chateau Montelena, the wine that beat the French. This film follows the story of Chateau Montelena as a British wine expert by the name of Steven Spurrier selects the best wines of the Napa Valley to compete against the best of the French. In his search, he is surprised at the quality of the wines and selects the Chateau Montelena along with a few other to compete. the Cheateau owner, Jim Barrett doesn't want to participate as he thinks it's a ploy to humiliate the Napa Valley vinters. However his son, Bo sends the bottles and ultimately is one of the wines selected to participate in the blind taste test. Bottle Shockj is a terrific film that blends comedy and drama, IU believe that this film has gotten a lot of unfair flack. Some people don't seem to realize how good this film really is. Sure, it's not flawless, but it's a well acted film about a very interesting, historical subject. Because after all the 1976 Paris Wine Tasting was a historical event, that changed the wine industry forever. The film has been said thats its less good than Sideways, well honestly, Sideways was overrated to the max and was a boring film that was a waste of a good cast. In my opinion, Bottle Shock is a superior film that shouldn't be dismissed so easily. A surprisingly good film.
    Alex r Super Reviewer
  • Sep 11, 2010
    The jacket and description of this movie are deceptive to how good this movie is. This movie contains three main stories. 1.) Bill Pullman is an ex-high powered attorney who leaves his job in the late 60’s to start his own vineyard in Sanoma. He and his son Chris Pine struggle to make a superior chardonnay. 2.) Freddy Rodriquez works for Pullman and has an extraordinary pallet. He and his fathers and have lived in and cultivated grapes through the history of his family. He his proud of his family heritage and critical of the gringos who look down him and try too walk in and be gentlemen farmers. They have there own vineyard and Rodriquez has a wine that might be their best ever 3.) Alan Richman is a very British wine merchant who has a shop in Paris of all places. To celebrate 1976 he comes up with the idea to drum up his failing business he plans to have a blind taste between French and American wines with the top wine critiques and sommeliers in France. Historically referred to as the “1976 Judgment of Paris” He travel to Sonoma to sample the best the US has to offer. Chris Pine, the focal character of the movie has long hair and still living an unfocused on the road type life style and his Hard working father Bill Pullman is concerned that he will never make anything of himself. Rachel Taylor is an viniculture and enology (The study of making wine) intern on Pullman’s vineyard who catches Pines’ eye and the eye of his best friend Rodriquez. Rodriquez convinces his father that they should keep and make there own grapes versus selling it to the high volume/low quality wineries. The relationships between Pine and Pullman and Rodriquez and his father did not ring true. The second may be a spoiler, but this movie is based on factual accounts. Rodriquez Red, although entertaining, was a fabrication and not involved in the Judgment of Paris although I was very disappointed when I found out, I was so looking forward to a glass of Gustavo Thrace Cab.
    Bill C Super Reviewer
  • May 30, 2010
    Everyone likes it when pretentious French snobs get whats coming to them, but does it warrant an entire film about it? Certainly was an interesting moment in history, and the movie really tries to sell it. Unfortunately its just pretty boring.
    Alec B Super Reviewer

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