“A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti”.
It’s no wonder that our journey of cinema and wine begins with the terrifying Hannibal Lecter from Silence of the Lambs – he was after all a declared lover of “fine dining” and made no secret of his knowledge of wines. Cinema and wine, like poetry and painting, have a relationship like no other – an art as such draws its lifeblood from the nectar which so carefully has made its way into many a film.
It’s impossible to list all movies which feature a bottle of wine as the often silent accomplice at the game of seduction, or the aroma-filled consolation which consoles the pains of life or even rejoices throughout its joys and successes. Wine has easily made its way as supporting actor on the big screen and continues to garner role after role. Wine has become a new Hollywood star with years of honorable work, until one day it gets its big break!
Mentioning all the roles wine has played, even just the honorable roles, wouldn’t do it justice so here’s a brief list perfect for wine lovers everywhere.
In Bottle Shock (2009), Randall Miller tells us about a young character named Bo (Chris Pine) who finds himself managing a Californian vineyard and decides to enter a competition which is dominated by French winemakers. A great film with the ever-obvious wine rivals USA vs France, with a healthy dose of American spirit.
Or for the incurable romantic, you must remember the film French Kiss, a romantic comedy starring Meg Ryan and Kevin Clyne. What’s wine got to do with this film? The main character has a vine to plant to create their very own vineyard. Who hasn’t dreamt this very same dream?
Now let’s not forget the countless documentaries worth mentioning where wine makes quite the appearance – Robert DaFoe’s From Ground to Glass, a 2005 mockumentary called Corked, Jonathan Nossiter’s Mondovino which also appeared in 2004 Cannes Film Festival, or what about Ermanno Olmi’s Rupi del Vino, a documentary of the terraced vineyards of Valtellina.
Then there are those films where the appeal of a good label can give rise to complete potential, writing history and creating small cinematic masterpieces.