Wine for Dragons

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Monday, November 20, 2006

Wine Movie Review : A Good Year


This is outside the normal scope of my reviews, but I see it as broadening the spectrum of this wine blog. My wife and I went to watch the wine-related movie “A Good Year” at Vivocity Golden Village starring Russell Crowe (from “The Gladiator” fame), Marion Cotillard and Albert Finney and directed by Ridley Scott. The seats were of course new and we were pleasantly surprised at the generous leg room. In a nut-shell, the movie is about a self-centered, money grabbing London-based bond trader who finally has a change of heart when he inherits a Chateau vineyard in Provence from his Uncle. He is in denial that he loves and admires his uncle very much but could not articulate it to him for the last 10 years of his uncle’s life.

It is actually based as a romantic comedy and the ladies in the show were quite good eye candy too. Some funny parts of the show included Russell Crowe shouting “Lance Armstrong is a winner!” in the face of a team of French cyclists when they laugh at his miniature smart car, also how all the daft visitors to the Chateau remove the Lavender from the window sills and they get visited by scorpions the next morning. In addition, the French oenologist gurgling the cellar barrel samples like a chipmunk was hilarious.

In terms of the wine, Russell Crowe’s lawyer is the wine geek (to hilarious effect when he tried to impress a buxom waitress in London, but got the wine wrong) and his uncle is the passionate one for making the wines. A quotable phrase from his uncle (if I get it right), in essence “Wine unlike man can never tell lies, the truth is always in the glass”. The American illegitimate daughter of his uncle is also a wine guru, during vacation, work the summers at the Sonoma Valley in California USA. And it was very funny to see the French Dufflot (workhand) at the Chateau have a love-hate argument with her.

What I could not understand, and was lacking in the show was the explanation on how the expensive bottles of PG were in the uncle’s cellar and with the Chateau’s own lousy wine placed side by side. I suspect that the PG was a kind of expensive Reserva wine which is made in the same vineyards but kept a secret to keep the Chateau profitable.

So the crux of the movie is, whether it is worth spending $9.50 per ticket on the weekends to watch it or wait for the DVD release? Well unless you are a wine buff like me, I would say save your money and wait for the DVD release. Cheers!


  • At 3:53 PM, Blogger Dezel said…


    Nice review, we saw the movie as well and based on what is out there now I didn’t feel totally ripped; just for the overpriced popcorn.

    The special label wine also had me clueless, and then they showed him as a child holding a bottle of that wine. Also when the winemaker was grieving over the possible sale of the vineyard and shortly after the adjuster left, he gave hint to something special in the vineyard. Like you figured, if the other wine was that bad, something had to keep them afloat.

    Prior to this movie coming out, many people were looking for another Sideways in this movie; I don’t think we will see another one of those anytime soon. It’s always nice to have movie where wine plays a significant role however.

    Happy Sipping!


  • At 9:27 AM, Blogger DesDragon said…

    Hey Dezel,

    Thank you for your comments.
    So it is a global standard for overprice popcorn. I paid S$4.50 of a regular size popocorn which could not have cost more than a dollar.

    Glad you liked the show as well. And yes I agree that there are few movies with the main theme of wine. I heard that there was one before "Mondovino" opened on March 23, 2005.
    Synopsis -
    Filmmaker Jonathan Nossiter is a serious wine connoisseur as well as a practicing sommelier when he isn't busy behind the camera, and he's combined his two passions in this documentary on the international wine business. Mondovino offers a witty but well-informed look at how business concerns and the homogenization of tastes around the world are changing the way wine is being made. Nossiter's primary focus is on American vintners and their new degree of worldwide acceptance (in part due to the efforts of wildly influential U.S. wine critic Robert Parker), as well as French wine makers who are struggling to maintain a more traditional approach in the wake of a rapidly shifting business climate, such as Hubert de Montille and Yvonne Hegoburu.

    Have not manage to find the film yet though...



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