Wine has been a focus of world filmmakers since the early days of cinema. After all: wine, popcorn, and a good movie makes for a great time, any day or night of the week. While many people know of the wine movie Sideways, which is definitely worth a few repeat viewings, there is a whole library of films and documentaries about wine worth exploring. Whether you’re looking to be educated or purely entertained, here are 26 wine-focused movies to queue up for your next movie night.
– This movie follows an aspiring Master Sommelier from Memphis, TN and all the hiccups he encounters while pursuing his dream. The story is loosely based on the life of DLynn Proctor, who many of you may remember from the movie SOMM (also on the list of wine movies to watch).
– An instant classic that earned lots of Oscar buzz, this comedy-drama tells the tale of two friends touring the vineyards of Santa Barbara, and the misadventures, romances, and bonding that ensue.
– SOMM is a documentary that follows four wine professionals attempting to get certified as Master Sommeliers, an honor that has only been bestowed on 269 people around the world in the past four decades.
– This entertaining film is based upon the real-life event that helped California become recognized as a true player in the wine world. In it, a father-and-son team fight to beat French competitors in the international tasting contest of 1976, known as the Judgment of Paris, and turn the wine world on its ear.
A Walk in the Clouds
– Set in the always-scenic locale of Napa Valley in the years right after World War II, this movie entangles a returning soldier (played by a young Keanu Reeves), an unwed pregnant woman, and her overbearing father.
Wine for the Confused
– Light-hearted and hilarious, this documentary (hosted by British comedian and Monty Python alumnus John Cleese) doubles as a brilliant introduction to the world of wine.
Cinema of Wine
– This funny and slightly bizarre tale revolves around a wine salesman from Yakima who finds out his wife is cheating on him. He strikes up a friendship with the other man, and goes on a giddy cross-country adventure.
A Good Year
– A beautifully shot romantic comedy about a hard-driving investment banker, played by Russell Crowe in his heyday, who inherits a French vineyard and is enchanted by a young Marion Cotillard.
The Secret of Santa Vittoria
– This sweeping war movie is about Italian townspeople hiding a million bottles of wine from the Nazis during World War II. The film features fantastic shots of the sunny Italian countryside that will transport you without the plane ticket.
A Heavenly Vintage
– A great journey into magical realism, this tale follows the quest of a French peasant attempting to become a master winemaker in the 1800s. He gets some help from angels along the way.
Blood and Wine
– A neo-noir thriller about a philandering husband and wine merchant (played by Jack Nicholson), Blood and Wine details the protagonist’s plan to steal a valuable diamond necklace from one of his clients.
– This French romantic-comedy is a poignant film about a French vineyard owner and widow who finds love again, both for wine and for life.
– Kevin Kline plays the charismatic son of French winemakers in this ‘90s classic. It’s a love story revolving around the ever-charming Meg Ryan, wine, and the romance of Paris.
This Earth is Mine
– An intrigue-packed melodrama set in the early days of California wine culture, this movie is recommended for its fascinating look at how the American wine industry survived Prohibition in the early 20th century.
SOMM: Into the Bottle
– An untraditional sequel to SOMM that is more of a spiritual continuation than a direct follow-up, this documentary provides viewers with intimate access to the insights of some of the most acclaimed sommeliers around the globe.
– Wine is now a worldwide obsession, and this documentary explores how globalization and international capitalism is affecting the art and craft of wine.
– A lavish and fascinating documentary about China’s growing thirst for Bordeaux, and the giant untapped market that could easily change the face of the industry.
Blood into Wine
– Maynard James Keenan of the band Tool leads a double life: this film tracks his appreciation of music and of his other passion: winemaking.
Barolo Boys: The Story of a Revolution
– This documentary film, set in the Langhe hills of Italy, tells the story of a group of winemakers who made Barolo become one of the most famous wines in the world.
A Year in Burgundy
– The winemaking process is chronicled throughout a whole year in this documentary, which examines the work of several winemakers in the celebrated French wine region of Burgundy.
– Merlot, once deemed unsophisticated by the wine elite, is proving it is worthy of recognition. In the wake of the Sideways Merlot-bashing epidemic, this doc featuring an animated bottle of Merlot offers an insightful look into the inner workings of the industry.
A Year in Champagne
– Part of a documentary trilogy by the director David Kennard (that also includes A Year in Burgundy and A Year in Port), this film captures how the world’s favorite bubbly beverage, Champagne, is created through a year.
– An engaging documentary about the explosive popularity of Argentine Malbec, this film also spells out how wine has become a force in South American pop culture.
– This true story follows three Italian winemakers and chefs who are attempting to stop the industrialization of their beloved hometown of Langhe.
– Jason Wise has done it again with his third installment of SOMM, this time gathering three of the greatest legends in wine to drink rare bottlings and share what got them hooked on wine.
– This inspiring film follows an unlikely team of four Zimbabwean refugees-turned sommeliers as they compete in an international wine tasting championship.
From hard-hitting documentaries to tender romances, the story of wine is as complex as a good glass of Pinot Noir. There’s no reason to just drink it: now you can watch it, too.