Sour Grapes

How much is that bottle of wine? Where did you get it? Check the label, carefully. And the foil. And the glass. And also the contents…

Fascinating account of a wine savant gone rogue. It’s juicy, but something doesn’t smell right…

Somm: Into the Bottle

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more interesting film about wine. There’s about 2000 years of vinicultural history packed into these 90 minutes. If you don’t know much about wine, and want to know what all the fuss is about, this is your film. If you are already knowledgable, you’ll enjoy it all the more. Pour yourself a glass, and watch it.

A Year in Burgundy

That red burgundy that you enjoyed so much – how was it made? What was the weather like that year? What vines produced its grapes? Who harvested those grapes? How did it go from vineyard to bottle? And how many bottles were produced, for which markets?

These questions are addressed, but there are many more interesting details, such as the meals shared during vendage, the personal philosophies of the winemakers, their families and their motivations, theirĀ fears and hopes and joys. Even for those who know a good deal about the wines of Burgundy, an enjoyable little doc.

Somm

I always think when I am tasting wine that I need more vocabulary. More of those descriptors from other areas, both food and otherwise. Green apples, apricots, lemon zest are easy enough. Berries, baking spices, maybe even mushrooms are pretty straightforward. Flowers. Forest floor, okay. Petrol even. But fresh tennis balls and garden hoses venture into new territory. These guys have words in spades.

The most interesting scenes for me were those in which they were actually tasting, and telling us about the colors and aromas and flavors. Even more interesting were the different conclusions they came too when tasting identical wines. Because a massive amount of their abilities in this area come down to memorization – e.g. knowing which wines from which countries use the American oak that they might taste on a wine – the individual palettes of the tasters become more apparent. But, like athletes, or certainly experts in any field, they have good days and bad days…

More than anything, it makes me want to go out and taste some wines.