Bottle Shock


The new movie Bottle Shock premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and GrapeRadio was there to cover it. The screenplay is told through the lives of Jim and Bo Barrett of Chateau Montelena, whose Chardonnay went on to win the competition, and the movie chronicles the events leading up to the famous Paris Tastings of 1976. It was at this place and time that Napa wines bested French wines in a blind tasting – immediately catapulting California into the limelight on the world stage of wine.

While at Sundance, our correspondent, Ann Lieber, conducted interviews with actors Alan Rickman (Steven Spurrier), and Bill Pullman (Jim Barrett), as well as Director Randall Miller, and fellow screenplay collaborator Jody Savin. Join us as we get their perspectives of why and how the story of this pivotal wine event needed to be told via film.

For more info on Bottle Shock the Movie:

Sponsor: New Media Expo:

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Show #206
(31:07 min 22MB)

12 Responses to “Bottle Shock”

  1. 1 Michelle Palak Jul 21st, 2008 at 11:36 am

    I saw sideways and loved it. After watching the preview to this at, i am ecstatic to see it, and can’t wait till it comes out. it looks funny and exciting, and looks like it has breathtaking camera shots of california wine country. All in all, it looks like a fun, and loving adventure.

  2. 2 Michael Jul 22nd, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    After seeing this, i couldn’t wait to take a trip to California just to go and see the vineyards up there. Napa Valley is next on my list after this. A beautiful soundtrack, and screenplay, with camera angles that encourage you to create your own vineyard anywhere.

  3. 3 Randy K. Walker Jul 30th, 2008 at 7:32 pm

    Ok. I somehow missed the date when this movie will out. Can you tell me when to look for it? And where I can go to see if it will be played in my area.


  4. 4 Eric Anderson Jul 31st, 2008 at 5:47 am

    According to, it’s being released August 6th.

  5. 5 Fred Davis Aug 1st, 2008 at 1:07 am

    They are doing a platform release it seems. Opening Aug 6th in certain cities and then opening the following weekend August 15th in other cities and then August 22nd in others. The breakdown is listed on the website to see when it comes to a theater near you:) I think this film looks really funny! Also saw on the website a sweepstakes to win a trip to California to be wined and dined. You better believe I applied. California wine is some of the best wine in the world!

  6. 6 mel Aug 4th, 2008 at 7:19 am

    Nice work guys but one thing….
    I wish the different interviews had an intro so I could know WHO the interviewee was.
    I was able to figure it out at some point in the interview but why not ID the actor, director etc… at the beginning of each interview?


  7. 7 GrapeRadio Bunch Aug 8th, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    The order for the interviews are: Bill Pullman, Randall Miller & Jody Savin , then finishes up with Alan Rickman.

    Your GrapeRadio Crew

  8. 8 Rajiv Aug 11th, 2008 at 8:36 am

    I saw the movie a while ago at a pre-screening in NY. It was entertaining – Rickman and Pullman were great, but the script seemed to blend accurate details with incomprehensible factual changes. I didn’t feel that the factual changes resulted in any semblance of a coherent story, though it did allow the insertion of several mini-stories that didn’t really go together – a love triangle, a father-son struggle, poor vs. rich struggle, racial tension, idealist vs. pragmatists. It was as if the filmmakers brainstormed all of the hollywood cliche’s and then crammed them into a movie.

    Oh well, I guess that’s their artistic license. I have one omission that bothers me greatly, though: Where is Mike Grgich!!! (he was the winemaker who made the 1973 Montelena Chard)

  9. 9 Adam Marks Aug 14th, 2008 at 1:00 am

    Just saw Bottle Shock. What an enjoyable movie. Theater I saw it in was pretty packed for a Tuesday night and people clapped afterwards– seems like its getting good word of mouth. thanks for the link on the behind-the-scenes features. Rajiv, I actually thought the love triangle worked well and was interesting in light of who Freddie Rodriguez’ character would have been in 1976 (a discriminated Mexican farmhand). And I really bought Bill Pullman and Chris Pine’s dysfunctional father-son relationship. It felt very real and pays off nicely in the end and makes you feel good! For those who haven’t seen, this is one to checkout for sure.

  10. 10 Charles Flores Mar 20th, 2012 at 4:59 am

    I recently got a chance to see Bottle Shock and I have to say I thought it was great. It’s really charming and interesting in a very different way from Sideways, although because of all the beautiful Napa Valley photography, it still reminded me of it. It also has great characters and hilarious moments the way that film does. I highly recommend this film.
    Based on a true story, it chronicles how California wine makers became serious contenders in the world competition of wine– an honor previously assumed to be rewarded always to the French. It centers around a town of quirky up and coming wine makers, each with their own challenges to face. It’s got a great cast, including Bill Pullman, Chris Pine, Freddie Rodriguez, Rachel Taylor, Eliza Dushku and the hilarious Alan Rickman. Rickman plays an English wine seller in France who’s desperate to find the best wines to sell in his store. He travels to California to see if the rumors are true about California’s wines. His performance alone is worth seeing this.
    It’s a charming, heartwarming movie! I wish I could see it earlier when it was out in 2008.

  11. 11 Cynthia Tod Apr 3rd, 2012 at 11:43 am

    Cute movie. Time and money well spent. Great that it’s a true story. I learned more about wine in this movie than I did in the movie Sideways. Two classic Doobie Brothers songs in the soundtrack. 3/5.

  12. 12 Bryce May 4th, 2012 at 11:43 am

    Very interesting movie. I love wine and learning about it.

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