Bottle Shock



Date: April 1, 2022

Time: 7:30 pm

Location: Hoke Theatre

Price: $7/each

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2008 (PG-13) 112 min. USA
Director: Randall Miller
Cast: Alan Rickman, Chris Pine, Bill Pullman, Rachael Taylor

Film critic Roger Ebert begins his review as follows: “In 1976, the year of the American bicentennial, the tall ships sailed from Europe to America and back again. But a smaller event was, in its way, no less impressive. In a blind taste-testing held in France, the wines of California’s Napa Valley defeated the best the French had to offer—and all the judges were French! A bottle of the winning American vintage, it is said, now rests on exhibit in the Smithsonian Institution. BOTTLE SHOCK is a charming fictionalized version of the victory.” Looking for a way to boost his failing Parisian wine shop, a snobbish Brit named Steven Spurrier heads to California’s Napa Valley, preparing for a tasting contest he has set up, pitting his favorite French wines against up-and-coming vintages from California. He assumes that a victory by the French wines will spur people to flock to his store, but he is surprised to find that the California wines are not quite as awful as he had imagined. He is especially intrigued by a Chardonnay made by Jim Barrett and his son, Bo, at Chateau Montelena, but Jim is a perfectionist who never thinks his wine is ready and does not want to be involved in the contest, believing it will be a circus and an excuse to embarrass the California wineries. He has a tense relationship with his son, an easygoing surfer dude who seems more interested in the summer intern, Sam, than working in the family business. Meanwhile, other vintners are excited about participating in the contest, including Gustavo, one of Jim’s best employees, who is making his own wine on the side. As Spurrier gets closer to deciding which California wines will be selected for the contest, friendships and families threaten to tear apart and love blossoms. Pay attention to the movie’s end credits.


“A marvelous, beautifully made, feel good movie that is guaranteed to revive everyone’s flagging faith in American pride at home and abroad–something in these sorry, perilous times we’re desperately short of.” – Rex Reed, NEW YORK OBSERVER

“Kick back and relax and take a sip of BOTTLE SHOCK. It will linger on your palette long after the curtain falls.” – Debbie Lynn Elias, BEHIND THE LENS