A lot of movie lovers, and most wine lovers, agree that the best wine movie ever is Sideways.
Sideways works for lots of reasons and it remains one of the few movies I have been able to watch more than once. If you are longing for another view (or checking it out for the first time), grab the Sideways DVD now.
Incidentally, there are moves afoot for a sequel to Sideways, called Vertical (what else?) written by the same author, Rex Pickett. The main stumbling block to Vertical appears to be the director of Sideways, Alexander Payne, who fears any follow up to Sideways would be a sell-out.
From a wine perspective, Sideways created a worldwide demand for Pinot Noir red wine as a result of the movie’s main character, Miles.
Miles waxed lyrical about the merits of Pinot Noir in an entertaining and informative way, and in the process moved masses of wine drinkers from other red wine types (especially Merlot, which he detested) to Pinot Noir.
If you are yet to experience the delights of Pinot Noir, check out the huge range of Pinot Noir here.
So what is this best wine movie since Sideways?
It goes by the unlikely name of Somm, short for sommelier.
A sommelier is (according to Wikipedia) a “trained and knowledgeable wine professional, normally working in fine restaurants, who specializes in all aspects of wine service as well as wine and food pairing.”
The movie is essentially a documentary following four young men who are preparing for the entrance exam of the Court of Master Sommeliers. The exam is touted as “the hardest exam you’ve never heard of”.
The Master Sommelier exam is so difficult that the pass rate runs at about ten percent and there are less than two hundred sommeliers worldwide who have passed it since it commenced in 1977.
It is expensive to sit for the exam, it covers virtually every conceivable piece of wine information known to man and is described as a “brutal” experience, capable of wrecking lives, relationships and taste buds. What more could any movie going wine lover want?