24 Best Wine Movies for Oenophiles

  • Wine
  • by WC STAFF
  • on MAY 19, 2016
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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 Saturday night in (or Tuesday, for that matter). Although the perennial Sideways is great, and definitely worth a few repeat viewings, there is a whole library of films and documentaries about wine that explore why we love it so much. Listed here are enough wine-focused movies to keep you busy for several days straight.

Start Here

sideways
Image Source: Bristol Film Festival
Sideways – An instant classic that earned lots of Oscar buzz, this comedy tells the tale of two friends touring the vineyards of Santa Barbara, and the misadventures, romances, and bonding that ensue. The film essentially defined wine tourism in the 2000s.

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Image Source: IMDb
Somm – This documentary follows four wine lovers who are attempting to get certified as Master Sommeliers, an honor that has only been bestowed on 220 people around the world in the past four decades.

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Image Source: IMDb
Bottle Shock – This whip-smart film is the (almost) true story of how California wine became the burgeoning industry it is today. In it, a father-and-son team fight to beat French competitors in an international tasting contest in the 1970s, and turn the wine world on its ear.

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Image Source: IMDb
A Walk in the Clouds – Set in 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, a unwed pregnant woman, and her overbearing father.

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Image Source: Amazon
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 for beginners.

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Image Source: Discdish
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 have you clicking for plane tickets in no time.

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Image Source: Amazon
Mondovino – Wine is now a worldwide obsession, and this documentary explores how globalization and international capitalism is affecting the art and craft of wine.

Cinema of Wine

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Image Source: Amazon
Cement Suitcase – This funny and slightly bizarre tale revolves around a wine salesman 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.

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Image Source: IMDb
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.

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Image Source: Curiousfan
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.

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Image Source: Lebeauleblog
Year of the Comet – A woman discovers the world’s most expensive bottle of wine in the Scottish hills, and strikes up an unlikely romance with her coarse body guard.

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Image Source: Google
A Tale of Autumn – This film is a poignant drama about a French vineyard owner and widow who finds love again, both for wine, and for life.

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Image Source: IMDb
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.

Documentaries

somm
Image Source: IMDb
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 with some of the most acclaimed sommeliers around the globe.

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Image Source: IMDb
Red Obsession – 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.

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Image Source: Amazon
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.

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Image Source: Google
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.

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Merlove – Merlot, once deemed unsophisticated by the wine elite, has come to prominence over the past decade. This doc is a great guide to the difference between wine varieties, and gives an insightful look into the inner workings of the industry.

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Image Source: IMDb
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 documents how the world’s favorite bubbly beverage, Champagne, is created through a year.

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Image Source: Ytimg
Boom Varietal – An engaging documentary about the explosive popularity of Argentine Malbec, this film also spells out how the wine has become a force in South American pop culture.

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Image Source: Vimeocdn
Langhe Doc – This true story follows three Italian winemakers and chefs who are attempting to stop the industrialization of their beloved hometown of Langhe.

Honorable Mentions

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Image Source: IMDb
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.

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Image Source: IMDb
The Kids are Alright – While this quirky love story about a lesbian couple attempting to track down their adopted child’s biological father doesn’t directly center on wine, the alcoholic beverage features prominently in a supporting role, and many excellent bottles are explicitly mentioned in the script.

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Image Source: IMDb
French Kiss – Kevin Kline plays the charismatic son of French winemakers in this ‘90s classic. A love story revolving around the ever-charming Meg Ryan, wine and the romance of Paris blend into popcorn bliss.

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.

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