The producers of this popcorn fare didn't know much about wine. Throughout this wine-guy-as-dork/snob stereotype film, the main character "Miles" repeatedly insults both Merlot and Cab Franc. He calls Cab Franc "hollow, flabby" and "pointless" and he devotes and entire 5 minute tirade railing against Merlot.
So, what is the denouement wine he's drinking at the end of the film? CHATEAU CHEVAL BLANC!!! It's over 90% Merlot/Cab Franc, and obviously the producers were not aware of that. I'm only pointing out one item, but there are a number of inconsistencies and fallacies relevant to wine throughout the movie. What gets me is that it has become so much of a reference point for wine knowledge among the general population; why? It just doesn't make any sense.
Here is a story about Cheval Blanc you may not have heard:
The manager of Château Cheval Blanc, Jacques Hebrard, was outraged at the evaluation of his 1981 vintage barrel samples made by influential wine critic Robert M. Parker, Jr. and asked him to re-taste. Upon arriving, Parker was attacked by Hebrard's dog as the manager stood idly by and watched. When Parker asked for a bandage to stop the bleeding from his leg, Parker says Hebrard instead gave him a copy of the offending newsletter. Hebrard denies that Parker was bleeding. However, Parker did retaste the wine and found it significantly changed from his previous evaluation, and therefore gave the wine an updated evaluation in a later issue of his publication The Wine Advocate.
As a producer of pinot noir I can tell you there are too many Miless (or is it Mili?) in the world. I spend a lot of time in the tasting room where I see that few of them understand neither the elegance of pinot noir, or the complexity of merlot.
Perhaps the lack of charecter development come from these people have little charecter?
The writers/producers knew exactly what Cheval Blanc was. It was a punch line at the end of the movie.
If you take these two idiots out of wine country, you can see them as the worst of what humans can be.
Oh, they knew all right. The joke was on the jerk - and frankly, I found it hilarious. Pity to waste on a cheeseburger, but that was the point.
I'm from Portland and am friends with people from Oregon Film (State run org that provides tax credits to filmmakers for choosing Oregon) and they had never heard of that.
Funny story, the pres of University of Oregon was once approached about filming a movie there and around Eugene. He read the script and thought it awful That was the Graduate. The next script that crossed his desk he just rubber stamped it. That was Animal House.
Unfortunately, whatever the motivation of having Cheval Blanc on the table at the end of the film, the damage had been done. With those infamous words, "I am not drinking merlot!", sales in my local market plummeted for anything labeled 'merlot'. The public took it as fact and it became known as a value wine to those who claim to love wine but rarely study it. To me, the main character seemed like a jerk. I imagine people were thinking 'Hey, I wanna be just like that jerk over there!'
The sequel has 'em going north...
Because of that movie resulted in an explosion of Pinot Noir interest and in the Santa Ynez region, I have one word...... Oops?
Edge of Darkness has a great wine scene.
I remember that somewhere in the early 90's Spectator gave Walnut Crest Merlot an 88 point and "Best Buy" rating--it sold like hotcakes ($1.50 a stack!) and the supply couldn't keep up with the demand for Merlot. Funny thing is that it was probably Carmenere anyways, and the US began to guzzle really young, cheap Merlot.
Please pass the Fronsac!
I feel that any movie that brings wine to the masses in a positive light can be benefitial. Of course there had to be many flaws in Miles' character, and I always figured the Cheval Blanc was deliberate.
Im glad that, if true or not, the movie did not take place in Oregon and the people there did not 'sell out.' Kind of surprised it wasnt in Carneros to be honest.
WHat do people think of the Russell Crowe movie 'A Good Year' I found it to be enjoyable enough and had a good storyline with some humuor.
I'm positive I saw a bottle of 1982 Toro Albala PX sitting on the counter of the kitchen in the movie Kick Ass.
You are hilarious...
The Kids Are Alright has a few great wine scenes and perhaps one of the best dinner scenes ever.
"A Good Year" is a decent popcorn movie with some warm/fuzzy moments, beautiful scenery & a cute dog, albeit with a "paint by numbers" script.
A better wine movie set in France is "Apres Vous". A Parisian headwaiter saves the life of a stranger, then trains him to be a sommelier. French with subtitles.