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The real surprise of "Bottle Shock" . . .

. . . is that it's actually a pretty entertaining movie, despite the dismissal of a Miami Herald film critic who isn't me. The movie is based on the famous 1976 "Judgment in Paris" event when California wines beat out French ones in a blind taste test, sealing America's fate as a wine-producing nation (clearly an historic event on the level of, say, the Boston Tea Party or the end of the Civil War).

Shock2 Chateau Montelena - which won first place in the competition, beating out Montrachets and God knows what else - would like you to know, however, that much of the film is fabricated. (We realized that when the script had the vineyard owner and son fighting out their issues in a makeshift boxing ring.) They suggest checking out George Tabor's book about the event, Judgment in Paris, for the real scoop. It's still in print in paperback. Of course, the book doesn't have the fabulous Alan Rickman in it, so that's a strike against it. However, I am truly intrigued and just might check out the book anyway.

This movie recommendation comes with a caveat: Prepare to want to drink a lot of wine right after you've seen it.


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