The past few years have seen an increase in the number of quality of documentaries and movies about wine. Whether you’re new to wine or a longtime connoisseur, the best wine documentaries should satisfy your longing. If you’re tired of the usual TV shows and movies, check these out:
- Wine for the Confused (2004) – imdb link
Hosted by John Cheese, this is a documentary for those who are new to wine. The film takes an easy going approach and explains the different types of wine and grapes. The film then reveals the meaning of wine terminology, how wine tasting works and how wines are made.
Wine for the Confused also has interviews with winemakers and shows you how wines are bought, sold and stored. One of the most interesting features is the blind tasting, which produced some intriguing results. This 92 minute documentary also includes visits to some of the most famous wineries in the world.
- Somm (2013) – imdb link
This documentary film is about four guys determined to pass the Master Sommelier examination. These are real sommeliers, their trials and tribulations leading up to the biggest challenge they’ll face yet. Only 200 people in the world have become Master Sommeliers, so it’s an exclusive club.
Somm isn’t just a documentary however, as it is also about real individuals, their determination as well as their struggles. The Master Sommelier exam takes its toll physically and emotionally, and the unexpected twist ending is the finishing touch. And yes, it’s all true.
- Somm 2: Into the Bottle (2015) – imdb link
The success of Somm led to a sequel, Somm 2: Into the Bottle. Unlike the first film, this one focuses more on winemaking, and the narration generally follows the winemaking procedure.
Somm 2 includes interviews with the four cast members of the first Somm film. In addition the documentary includes interviews with the top figures in the industry. The topics discussed include aromas, bouquets, wine tasting and what makes for a good wine.
One of the highlights in Somm 2 is when experts drink and talk about some of the world’s most exclusive and expensive wines. You’ll also get to see the best wine regions in the world and take an in-depth look at how wines are made.
- Bottle Shock (2008) – imdb link
Anytime one talks about films and documentaries about wine, and Bottle Shock will come up. This comedy drama film tells the story of early winemaking in California, in particular the 1976 blind wine tasting which is now called the Judgement of Paris. The film is basically about a British wine critic and his dream of collecting the best wines in California and pitting them against the finest French wine in blind tasting. The story is immersive and comes with some of the finest views of the Napa Valley.
- Mondovino (2004) – imdb link
Mondovino is a documentary that examines the effect globalization has had on the various wine regions around the world. You’ll get a close up look behind the scenes at Michelle Rolland, who winemaking techniques became the standard by which others follow. The documentary also examines the influence of wine consultants and critics like Robert Parker and its effect on the industry.
Mondovino also shows how multinational wine makers work, such as Robert Modavi, and contrasts that with those of single estate wineries. While Mondovino focuses on the top figures in the wine industry, you’ll also get a good look at how the wine world works.
- Red Obsession (2013) – imdb link
This documentary takes you into the world of Bordeaux, and it focuses on the huge demand for these wines in particular China. As the documentary shows, there is a red Bordeaux sub-section with wines so renowned they’re not consumed anymore. Instead they’re bought and sold like shares and stocks.
Narrated by actor Russell Crowe, Red Obsession takes you around Bordeaux and China, complete with interviews with wine lovers, critics and winemakers. Written by Warwick Ross and David Roach, Red Obsession is for the true wine aficionado.
- Chateau Chunder (2012) – imdb link
No discussion of Australian food and wine documentaries is complete without mentioning Chateau Chunder. This documentary tracks the growth of the Australian wine market, especially in the UK. The film is notable for interviews and appearances of various wine experts including Dr. David Dunstan, one of Australia’s top wine historians.
- A Year in Burgundy (2013) – imdb link
A Year in Burgundy is divided into four seasons, and the narration fits against that background. With interviews of the leading personalities in the industry, you also learn the ins and outs of Burgundy winemaking and how terroirs have been made since ancient times.
In this documentary you’ll be taken back to the time of the Dark Ages with the Cistercian monks who helped keep the tradition alive. From the past to the present day, a Year in Burgundy takes you on a fascinating trip.
- A Year in Champagne (2014) – imdb link
Martine Saunier, noted French wine importer, serves as guide to all things champagne and you also get to know the top personalities in the industry. The documentary also offers a rare behind the scenes look at large champagne houses like Bollinger and Gosset as well as independent houses like Champagne Saint Chamant.
A Year in Champagne is the follow up to the successful a Year in Burgundy, and it gives you an inside look at how wines are made through various houses. The third in the series, a Year in Port, has been released.
- A Year in Port (2016) – imdb link
The follow up to a Year in Burgundy and a Year in Champagne, this documentary takes you to Porto, one of the biggest producers of port wine. The film boasts some fantastic scenery, and it also illustrates the challenges that come with winemaking. This is an eye opening documentary that makes you appreciate wine even more.
These are just some of the top wine making documentary films you’ll come across today. There are a lot more to be sure, and as interest in wine and wine making continue to increase, we can expect more of these. In the meantime, these films should satisfy the cravings of any wine lover.