Bottle Shock (2008) Script

It wasn't always like this.

Before Paris, people didn't drink our wine.

I mean, my friends did, but you could hardly consider their palates discerning.

Hell, we were farmers, sort of.

# When the sun comes up on a sleepy little town #

# Down around San Antone #

# And the folks are risin' for another day #

# Round about their homes ##

I guess I'm late.

I told him you were under the weather.

I don't think he bought that one.

Come on, Ken. You know I don't come around here asking for money unless I need it.

What's wrong with the old grape press? It's bruising the grapes.

It's not about getting it done. It's about getting it done right.

It's about making the best goddamn wine that we can.


I have no interest in taking your dream away.

But maybe it's time you look for a new one.

You want me to sign every page?

This is your third loan.

You default, we take Château Montelena.

Bonjour, madame.

You see, Maurice... just as Degas used paint...

Rodin used bronze...

Debussy, the piano...

Baudelaire, language... so HenriJayer and Philippe de Rothschild used the grape.

Great wine is great art, my friend.

I am, in effect, a shepherd... whose mission is to offer the public... another form of great art... and to guide... its appreciation... thereof.

Well, a shepherd... by definition, needs a flock.

And a business, by necessity... needs customers.

So, if I were to subscribe to that proviso... would you be considered a customer?


No, I would be considered... an enthusiastic... advocate.

Steven Spurrier. Uh-huh.

I own the winery Madeleine... and founder of the Academy of Wine.

Sorry, sir, but your name is not on the list.

The Englishman is not in the list.

The receipt. I bought a ticket two weeks ago.

Follow me sir.

The Bicentanial of the United States. Cross the Atlantic That's oaky.

Oh, yeah.

And smoky. I-

I detect bacon fat... laced... with honey melon.

Oh, yes.

And a fine, smooth finish.

I'm gonna have to make some changes. What changes?

I have to actually sell some wines, for one.

Why? Because this is a business, Maurice!

Aha. "Aha" what?

You've got it all mixed up. You have L 'Académie du Vin... a school whose mandate, unless I am somehow mistaken... is to educate on wine.

And what do you have on your shelves?

One Chianti and three Rieslings.

The rest are all French.

It might as well be L 'Académie du Vin Française.

But even if it was L'A cadémie du Vin Française... it should seek to present its subject in a global context.

What about the rest of the world, huh?

I just read an article that said California... is gonna produce wine that will rival the finest of the French.

And when that happens, I'm going home.

No offense, but I don't foresee... the imminent cultivation of the Chicago vine.

I'm from Milwaukee.

Oh, crap. Mike, it's not clear.

I was hoping for more.

Shh, shh.

Hey. We're racking the wine again.

Dad, you gotta be kidding me.

Outside. Now.

No one in the valley racks more than three times.

We do.

Huh? Huh?

Oh, yeah? Yeah.


We've racked the wine five times.

Come on. Aren't we fighting?

Come on. Mike says we're gonna rack it one more time.

Huh? That chardonnay has gotta be clear!

Hell, we'll set a world record then, huh?

Who the hell is that?

Ah. I made it.

Can I help you?

Yeah, I'm Sam. Yeah.

Your eager and willing intern?

You're Sam? Sam I am.

Your tire's shot. Oh, yeah. Yeah, I know.

But you know what I discovered? You really only need three, don't ya?

Yeah, I made it all the way from Fairfield on three, no problem.

Oh, God.

Ow. So, you, uh-you okay?

Yeah, no, no. I-

I mean, " the world breaks everyone... and, uh, afterward many are stronger at the broken places. "

Hemingway, right? Yeah.

Yeah, originally. But, um, you'll hear my dad say it a lot.

Come here. I just wanna show you something.

Just take a second.

So let's say you're strolling down the street. Now, which business do you notice?

Yours... or mine?

Well, it depends if you're looking for a bottle of wine or a limo tour of the city.

Well, maybe so.

But Pierre Tari seeks out my business, not yours.

Promotion, Stevie boy.

That's the key to any successful business venture.

Promotion. Pierre Tari?

Yes. Secretary general... of the Association des Grandes Crus Classés?

Yes again.

Maurice, I have an idea.

You sure he's in there? Absolutely.

Every Tuesday. My guy, Yves Magnon, used to drive him.

I see him.

¿Mr Tari?


We met at dinner of the New Federation... the other night.

Ah. Uh-

Sorry, I don't remember you.


The poor and reviled...

St. Estèphe Cos D'Estournel del 59... neglected by negligible acidity... and low fiber.

I hear you.

I predict that aging... will prove his critics were wrong.

So, ¿I am accused of having open it...

15 years too early?

20 would be better.

Do you like vintage.

I prefer them young.

¿I can sit with you for a moment?



Done. Wow.

He agreed, huh? He had a couple of stipulations.

Like what? First, I have to come up with 500 francs by Tuesday.

You mean you have to pay him?

I will be making a charitable contribution to the federation.

Ah. Hey, maybe it'll get you a better table at their next dinner.

Blind tasting, huh? Yeah.

Sends out a message of impartiality.

I don't think Tari and the otherjudges need to see a label to tell the difference... between a Mouton Rothschild and a California twist-top red.

If the French lose, they might bring back the guillotine.

Every great entrepreneurial inspiration has its risks.

What about publicity, huh? Hey, I know this guy, George.

He's a great writer. He was even published in TIME magazine.

Huh. The well-known wine journal.

It's too American. Too up itself. We need to involve the real news outlets.

You mean the French outlets. Maurice, this is a sophisticated story.

It will lend itself to sophisticated publications... that appeal to a sophisticated readership.

I'll call George.

Wow. Would you look at that? There must be over 500 words there.

This article's all about women's fashion accessories.

Maurice, this doesn't even credit George Taber.

It's because George is a ghostwriter.

And how do you substantiate the work of a ghost?

Has George ever written about wine? He's an oenophile.

That'll be a no then.

Complex and a bit woolly.

I think it's a seducer.

I'm going to California to try and find some respectable competition.

The wines will have to arrive a month or so early so they'll have time to recover.

Are you saying that wine gets jet lag?

No. It gets what is commonly referred to as "bottle shock. "

Which might, of course, improve it.

So this is it.

Uh, grocery store. Old bank.


This is Gustavo. Gustavo.

Hey, hey, boy.


Check my back. Make sure it's clear, will ya?

Yeah, you. Come on. Check my back. Make sure it's clear, will ya?

Stop, stop.

Oh, shit.

Apologize. You should have said "please. "

Let go of my antenna. You didn't say please because you assume that I serve you.

If you put a crinkle in that- Because you are a racist.

Who do you think you are, Cesar Chavez? I am Gustavo Brambila!

Should we run? Yes.

Hey. Hey. Hey, man, my friend doesn't wanna fight, all right?

But he also doesn't wanna be addressed with disparaging colloquial expressions... that imply some sort of genetic or cultural inferiority... or that are simply used out of some form of inappropriate ethnocentrism.

That was a good shot.

Some solid force behind it. But let me give you some advice.

Don't telegraph your moves, man. Do you do this often?

Change things up on me. Come on! No. Not really.

Ooh! And now I got your number. Let's see. Come on.

Excuse me. Big guy, if I may?

Hi. Hi. I got you.

Have you considered that you might be swinging at the wrong dude?

I mean, when you think about it, it was Gustavo here who broke your antenna.

Why are you swinging at Bo who was really just trying to make sense of the situation?

It's just- It's not logical to me.

She's right. Thank you.

Do we really need to fight to bring this to some sort of resolution?

Keep on movin', man. Come on. I'm gonna have to deck ya.

Hippies. Come on, come on. That's all you got?

I didn't even bleed. Ha!

Rock] [People Chattering]

Something I can help you with?


I can't believe you did that!

Ice! He stopped a left cross with his face to protect my virtue.

Hey, Bo. Hey, Joe.

You didn't call. Having trouble with that big, old dialing finger again?


So you're a Joe? My father was the original Joe.

Left the place to me.

Oh, three.

So, why Montelena?

Well, you have good history and good terroir.

They like our dirt.

Well, dirt was good enough for Al Lovering Tubbs in 1882... when he went and bought 253 acres of the stuff, right?

254. That... and... yours was the only position I was offered.

Well, you know, history does judge a prizefighter by the bouts he selects.

And the ones he avoids.

Life lessons from a surf bum and a wannabe winemaker.

I am here because I wanna learn... everything there is to know about viniculture and viticulture.

Hear! Hear! Don't we all?

Oh, Gustavo is very modest when he's not snapping off the antennas... of racist truckers twice his size.

Modesty is the virtue of slaves. Oh, cheer up, Stavo.

Gustavo Brambila was raised in the vineyards of Northern California.

He has our valley's grapes in his blood.

If you pour this Mexican hombre a glass of wine... he can tell you how much cabernet and how much merlot's in the blend.

He can even tell you the vintage.


Bullshit! I'll be right back.

Hey, Joe.

What have you got in the back room?

You got money? Yeah.

Pick any three for me and put 'em in paper bags.

Hey, listen.

I take 60% off the top, okay?

What? I gotta buy the wine. Okay.

Mm-mmm.! She's not gonna sleep with you.

She's gotta sleep eventually.

Yeah. In her own bed.

Hey, everybody. Listen up.

Who here wants to wager a little money that this Mexican... son of an immigrant field hand... can't guess what kind of grapes are in these wines... that our kind bartender has personally selected?

Fuck you. Fifty percent.

Don't break my antenna. I'm just trying to get us paid.

Any asshole can tell a merlot from a zinfandel.

Yeah, maybe. But can any asshole tell you the vintage?

All right. Ten bucks. And he has to guess all three.

Ten bucks. It's hardly worth the trouble. Okay. Twenty.

And I get to slow dance with her.

You're on.! Anybody else?

I want 20% for that.

I'll give up 10 if you give up 10. Okay.

All right. I'm flush!

Gentlemen, action if you want it, put it on the bar.

It's cabernet.

Yep. 1971.

Ridge. Yep.

Let's see the bottle. Oh, that's nothin'.! A recent vintage.!

Dances like a lullaby at the tip of my tongue.

Sonoma. Pinot noir.


Buena Vista.

Yep. How does he do that?

Attaboy, Stav. Go get 'em, baby. It's not from Napa.

I can't tell you whether it's a merlot or cabernet.

Oh, dear God.

I can't say because... it's a 1947 Cheval Blanc.

About half merlot, half cabernet franc.

Amazing! Ooh!

Yes.! Thank you.! Yes.! Thank you, ladies and gentlemen.

1947 Cheval Blanc, greatest wine ever made.

Very nice.

Thanks. Yes, yes, yes.

Twenty, 40, 60, 70...

80, 90...


Sweet! The Cheval Blanc was 50 bucks.

How 'bout we throw in the other two wines for free.

Enjoy. Uh-

I believe you owe her 10 too.

Oh. Thank you.

Hey. I thought you were gonna lead with the Buena Vista.

No, Joe switched 'em. I had nothin' to do with that.

Yeah. I mean-

For the Cheval. You hustlers.

Hand over my 10.

Thank you.


Who is it?

It's, uh, me, Gustavo.

Sorry. Did I wake you?

Maria Callas and I, we don't sleep much.

I need to check the wine.

Someday we'll do this in plain daylight?

I think I'd sleep much better if I sold my grapes to Gallo.

I think it's time to bottle. The third act of the grand opera.

The wine in the glass before it is no more.

Taste that wine.

Tell me if you still would have rather sold your grapes to Gallo.

Not bad.

When can we tell people? I hate secrets.



Oh, for Christ's sake!

Stupid "assing" car!

Of all the stupid shit!

I got a better jack in the truck. Is there a spare in that trunk?

Oh, yes. And a first-aid box with a snakebite kit.

Ah. Alls we'll need is the spare.

So, the Académie du Vin in Paris... is gonna give people instruction in California wine?

Part of my thinking, yes.

I just have to be sure I'm not introducing anything completely unpalatable.

Well, there are plenty of palatable wines in this country.

You don't have to worry about that. Yes, well-

My definition of palatable might be slightly different from yours.

Why is that?

Oh, years of total immersion in a nation... devoted to its enological endeavors.

One can't just decide to be a vintner, and then conveniently become one.

There are dynasties at play. That isn't true in California.

I rest my case.

You're a snob. Am I?

It limits you.

Well, thanks for your help, mister-

Barrett. Jim Barrett. I own Château Montelena... conveniently, of course.

Can I help you?

Mr. Barrett.

I didn't introduce myself. Steven Spurrier.

What do you want? To taste your chardonnay.

No. Did I mention that the tasting was blind?

Rich, round, layers of tangerine... peach.

Andjust a kiss of oak.

Like I said, people make some pretty good wine in this area.

That's why I'm here. Really?

Because the world, or anybody who's at all conscious about what we're trying to do here... tends to think of us as a bunch of hicks taking on the French.

True enough.

You know, I don't know about you.

But one thing we've learned around here is that if one person succeeds, we all succeed.

So I won't speak for them.

They might wanna be involved.

So I'll make some calls.

That's very magnanimous of you.

How much do I owe you?

You took money for a tasting?


Is that some new policy we have? Nope.

Hey, Bo.

Did you grow up in Napa?

No, I came here after high school.

Is it your father's idea to give me a tour? Nope.

What's your position at the vineyard? Ooh, cellar rat.

Oh. And you?

I am the intern to the cellar rat.

#Freedom don't come easy, babe #

# When your spirit's flying up among the clouds #

# And when you're faced with the wise man's road #

# You gotta know where to go # Where to first?

Karen Thompson's new winery. She makes a dynamite sauvignon.

A woman?

Yeah, we embrace the enological talents of womenfolk here in our valley.


Good to know, Bo.

# Sun and the stars are a travelin'man's companion #

# Leadin'the way for his journey #

He wants to pay for the tasting?

My dad says take his money.

# Mm-hmm #

# Leadin'the way The first to come #

# Showin'the way for his children #

Mr. Robbins. Hey, can we get a barrel sample... for this, uh, French wine snob?

He doesn't think we make real wine here.

Sure thing. Wanna grab it yourself, Bo? Yeah.

# Mm-hmm #

You can leave your money on the way out.

So you're having a contest.

I suppose you could call it that.

You're going to be a very popular man, Mr. Spurrier.

# Mm-hmm #

# Yeah #

Thank you, Mr. Barrett. Sure thing, Brit.

Thank you. You're welcome.

There he is. He's here.

Mr. Spurrier. Mr. Spurrier.

Hello, everybody. Thanks so much for coming.

I'll need some bottled water, flat, preferably Vittel.

Wow, that was interesting in a hail-to-the-queen sort of way.

Uh, some water biscuits or a French roll.

And then I'll meet you all one at a time.

I'll be right here.

What now? Oh, I don't know.

Get a burger, or maybe... we just go somewhere, get naked and screw.

No, I'd rather clean the thrasher.

# Yeah ##

Yeah, let's get a burger then.

Where the hell am I gonna get Vittel?

#I recall once upon a time #

# Livin'was so easy and I felt so fine #

# But my, my, my #

# Right before my very eyes #

Hey. Seen Gustavo?


Are you gonna help me with this, because this thing's a bitch, or no?

Nah. You're doing great.

# Thirty minutes after my ship set sail ##

I'll talk to you later, all right, dude?

Do you have any ambition at all?


Uh, I don't know.

See the Dead live at the Cow Palace?

Not really, no.

Maybe it's all my fault. Maybe I just gave you too much.

Maybe it's all been too easy for ya.

I don't think so.

Really, I don't.

You have until the end of the year.

You go back to school, you get a degree... or you're outta here and you're on your on.


I'll think about it.

And you have to get a scholarship because I'm broke.

You're not that broke.

We need 10 more barrels. You know how much those Limousin oak barrels cost.

You don't have money for barrels?

We can't afford four new tires for the truck.

I heard you only need three.

And we owe the bank.

You wanna fight?

Which one were you with today?


Shelly who?

I don't know. You don't know.

How could you not know? She drove you home, for God's sake.

You probably slept with her too!

I slept with the person, not the name.

Oh, God, Bo.

It's 1976. Woodstock was seven years ago.

# I'm walking in shadows I cannot see #

# Faces, they smile when I fall or flee #

# Doors without windows all shuttered tight #

# Again #

# I just might pass this way again #

# I just might pass this way again #

# I just might pass this way #

# I just might pass this way again #

Is that Orion's belt?

I have no idea.

You know that Woodstock was seven years ago?

That long, huh?

# I'm walking in shadows I cannot see #

Do you think I'm a loser?

Well, I mean, pretty much everyone else does, but...

I haven't made up my mind yet.

I think I should do something about it.

Probably wouldn't be a bad idea.

# The night, she is hot #

# Creole girls, they sing #

# My heart, it is pounding #

# My ears, they ring #

# The spell has been cast down in New Orleans #

# I just might pass this way #

# I just might pass this way again ##

So what did he think? Excuse me?

The tea bag, the Brit.

Did he like your wine?

Come on, Gustavo. It's a small valley.

You think I wouldn't find out?

I- I thought you'd be mad. I am mad.

You should have been straight with me.

I'd like for you to try it.


You're on your own now, kid.

Are you firing me?

I can't afford you anyway.

Come on, Jim. What am I supposed to live on?

When your focus is elsewhere, you're not a good employee.

And your focus has been elsewhere for some time now.

You people.

You think you can just... buy your way into this.

Take a few lessons.

Grow some grapes. Make some good wine.

You cannot do it that way.

All right, all right.

You have to have it in your blood.

You have to grow up with the soil underneath your nails... and the smell of the grape in the air that you breathe.

The cultivation of the vine is an art form.

The refinement of its juice is a religion... that requires pain... and desire and sacrifice.


My father knew that.

He was a field hand and he never had the opportunity to make his own wine.

I know that.

And I'm gonna make it happen one way or another.

Thanks, dude.

Oh, yeah. Careful, dude. She's fragile.

Thank you, sir.


Bo. Hi!

How are you? Good. Are you good?


Mr. Relyea. Mrs. Relyea.


Brian will be really excited that we saw you, Bo.

How is Brian? Oh, he's having a hell of a time.

He loves Yale. Your mom says that you're working for your dad.

Have you given up school then?

The arts program is thriving under Laura and my expert guidance.

...such great things for those kids.

I guess you boys don't eat much up there.

Oh, we eat. We do.

We're getting together, um, for dinner at the Chart House, if you wanna join us.

Um, oh, hey, I'd love to, but I, um-

Yeah, I gotta get back. With me gone, we're shorthanded.

There's -There's so much to do as it is. You know.

Honey. Hmm?

Tell me how much you need- No, Mom. so we can get on to the more pleasant part of our... visit.

Come on.

Check it out. I'm gonna be mobile again.

Yeah? You need help? Okay. Here?

Hop on.

You said that to him?



What are you gonna do now?

I'm not sure.

Can I try it?

Your wine?

It, uh... made Señor Garcia cry.

Then again, he was listening to Maria Callas at the time.

I got some Portuguese sardines... and crackers inside.

You think this goes well with fish?

Yeah. Yeah, I- I think so.


Hey, Sam.

Yeah. I don't think your car is safe to drive.

Why not? The, uh-The axle's bent.

That's sweet. What?

You're worried about me.

To Gustavo Brambila... renegade... who worships the sanctity of the vine.

And can't afford a full tank of gas.


Hey. Oh, man.

We gotta get out to the vineyard. Come on.

Uh, yeah. Just a second.


Bo! Come on, Bo!

Hey. Just a little lighter on that part, okay?

Where's Bo? I don't know.

He took the truck.

He didn't come by to pick you up?

Yeah, but I wasn't about to dive in the back while it was driving away.

Well, Sam, this is where wine is made, the vineyard.

And the vineyard's best fertilizer is the owner's footsteps.

It's alluvial, sedimentary, volcanic soil.

Dry. Right.

You want to limit the irrigation 'cause it makes the vines struggle... intensifies the flavor.

A comfortable grape, a well-watered, well-fertilized grape... grows into a lazy ingredient of a lousy wine.

So, from hardship comes enlightenment.

For a grape.

"Wine is sunlight... held together by water. "

The poetic wisdom of the Italian physicist, philosopher and stargazer...

Galileo Galilei.

It all begins with the soil... the vine, the grape.

The smell of the vineyard.

Like inhaling birth.

It awakens some... ancestral... some... primordial-

Anyway, some deeply imprinted... and probably subconscious place... in my soul.

Everything all right here?

These Californian wines... are all... so good.

What were you expecting?


What did you do? Huh?

What'd you do? The-We needed them, Dad.


You send them back, all right? You know full well we can't send them back.

Just send them back. You wanna fight?

No. No, goddamn it! I don't wanna fight!

I just want to- to-


To not fail at this.

To not completely fail.

Oh, God.

Are you okay?

Yeah. Just-

Don't -

Just don't ever pull a stunt like that again.

I solved the problem.

Oh. I owe her now.

Think of it as a gift. Gift like that costs more than money.

Why? Because you might actually have to say thank you?

I don't wanna owe anybody. You owe the bank 12 and a half percent.

Pay her back if you want. Or not.

Whatever. She's not gonna charge you interest.

I'd rather owe 10 banks than owe your mother.

Oh, by the way, I fired Gustavo.

What? Wh-Why would you do that?

He's running his own operation now.

What are you talking about?

Ask him.

Knock, knock.


Putting some blood into it now, are you?

Can I help you?

Could I purchase two bottles of the '73, please?

It's not ready.

I'll hold onto it.

Does this mean that you've picked the wines for your tasting?

I'll be making a formal announcement to the invited wineries and to the press.

I can't spoil the bubble of surprise now.

Right. Wouldn't wanna pop any bubbles.

And when will this formal declaration be taking place?

In due course.

Why don't I like you?

'Cause you think I'm an asshole. And I'm not really.

I'm just British, and, well, you're not.

I- It's because...

I think you've designed this whole tasting thing... to embarrass the Americans on their birthday.

Why would I do that? To somehow... make yourself more popular among your peers. Dad.

No. I-If there's one thing I know... it's people.

Well... good to see you again.

You know, Montelena could have used the exposure.

What if we'd won? People might then actually buy our wine.

They'd never let us win.

Who is "they"?

Him. The Brit. They- the French wine cronies.

They're in the French wine trade.

They're not looking to change that.

It's a mistake, Dad.

Man, this is the, uh- the heaviest glass of wine I've ever had.

Don't be so melodramatic. Hey, I'm serious, dude.

Taste it.

Did you sleep with her? Oh, come on, Bo.

Admit it. Admit it. You of all people.

How many different girls have you been with- This is different.

Taste the wine, please.

Did the Brit like it?

He bought two bottles.

That says something.

Ten bucks.

Are you seeing her?

What does-What does that mean?

You know exactly what that means. I don't know.

She liked my wine.

A lot. You know- Uh-huh.

I can't believe you're jealous.

Come on. I'm not jealous. You're jealous. Yes, you are.

I'm not. Okay. Well, then, she was, um-

Mmm. She was good.

I've never had a girl say my name like that, right? All right.

Enough. She moaned my name-

Did you actually sleep with her? Yeah, I slept with her, dude.

Bullshit. I don't f-

Don't lay that rich guy bullshit on me. I work my ass off.

I'm out there 12 hours a day. I couldn't even come and play.

Play? Oh, come on. Taste the fuckin' wine, please!

It's good.


What kind of an opinion is that?

A good one.

If I had been born with your privilege-

Excuse me?

I wouldn't have squandered it.

The white zone is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers-

No parking. Excuse me.


Bo. Are you going somewhere?

I'm sorry about my dad.

He can be a little, uh, impulsive.

I could think of other words. Uh... pigheaded maybe? That would be one of them.

I wanted you to have two bottles of our chardonnay- for the competition.

If you decide to choose them.

Is your father okay with this?

Ye-Yes. Absolutely.


Hello, and thank you for flying with TWA today.

My name is Becky. How may I help you?

I will be traveling on Flight 349 to Paris this morning. How many persons traveling?

Just one.

And how many suitcases?

Also just one. Oh. And this one I'll have to carry.

And, uh, these.

What is in the box, sir? The sweet nectar of the Napa Valley.

All the bottles are properly packed. I'm sorry, sir... but F.A.A. rules only allow you to bring one bottle of wine in a travel bag.

Beyond that, you have to make special customs arrangements.

These wines are scheduled to be served in a competition in Paris.

I can't have them jostled about in cargo.

I'm so sorry.

Excuse me.

A lot of people waiting.

Sorry, sir.

People, can I have your attention, please?

Who in this line is going to Paris on Flight 349?

Guten Morgen.


They can each carry one.

Hello, everybody. My name is Bo.

My family runs a small vineyard here in Napa.

Is your last name Gallo? God forbid.

No, sir. It's Barrett. The French have invited... certain American vintners... to compete in a tasting in Paris.

I am technically not French.

You think you can beat the French?

We don't know, but we, uh- we certainly want a chance to try.

The only problem is we can't get our wine there without your help.

See, I'm only allowed to carry on one bottle of wine, and I brought twenty-f- uh, 26 bottles of wine back to Paris without them being shaken or bumped around.

Will anybody carry a bottle for me?

I'll take one. And so will my husband.

I'm always proud to help a bellwether.

I'll take one. I'll carry one for you. Sure.


Thank you so much. My granddaddy made hooch during prohibition.


Treat these bottles with care, everybody.

Thank you. I know I speak on behalf... of all vintners in Napa Valley when I say thank you.

And I'll meet you all outside customs in Paris.

Well done. Cheers.

Safe flight.


Oh, God.

Someone die?

Yes! We are not gonna participate.

What are you talking about? Even after everything you said to him, he picked our wine.

That means something, Dad. Yeah, it means he thinks I'm a sucker.

Oh, Je- Hey. That contest is, what, two weeks from now?

Yeah. Whatever we do to get our bottles there... they won't show well. That's guaranteed.

Wine's in Paris.

I went to the airport and had each bottle hand-carried.

You gave him my wine? No, I gave him our wine.

I told you not to. You were being pigheaded.

Pack your bags.

You're outta here, kid.

You're kicking me out.

I'm firing you.


# Keep on driving me, baby #


There he is.

What the hell's going on?

The prodigal son come to have a laugh at his father.

I'm leaving.

And there's nothing left to leave.

Yeah, you're not the first.

I'm gonna call Sam.

She'll help you upstairs and clean this shit up.

Hey. Take this bottle. I don't want the bottle.

Take the bottle. I don't want the bottle!

Take the bottle and look at it in the sunshine.

Why is it brown?

Every bottle in this room is brown.

Every single bottle.

Maybe Gustavo was right. Maybe-

Maybe you gotta grow up with dirt under your finger.

I don't - I don't know.


You made this wine perfectly.

It tastes fine.

Yes, it does.

'Cause we made... buttery... beautifully layered... beautifully balanced chardonnay.

And it's brown. Brown, brown, brown.

Now I gotta find a guy who can haul away 500 cases of wine... because I can't stand to look at this... shit... anymore.

Get outta here.

The French flag is a bit more prominent than the American flag, isn't it?

Well spotted, Maurice. Life isn't fair.

Could you grab me a Bâtard-Montrachet and a Chambertin from the cellar?

Do you see them? They're on the left.

Wine the color of shit.



Rich, full-bodied... and brown.

Does it taste brown too? No.

There's someone we need to go see.

Come on. Give me the keys. Where we goin'

Get in the car, Bo.

Well, it's always hard to know what went wrong.

So many things can happen. But once it's in the bottle there's nothing you can do.

It's probably oxidized.

The taste becomes metallic.

But that's just it. The wine tastes fine.

And my father's a perfectionist. No air touches the wine after it's in the barrels.

Did you bring a bottle?

I've read about it, but I've never seen it.

You can make a wine too perfectly.

This reductionist technique, excluding as much oxygen as possible from the process... after fermentation, is the best way to make chardonnay.

Yeah, but- - But there's a natural browning enzyme in white wine... an enzyme that's neutralized if it comes into contact with even a tiny bit of oxygen.

Oh, my God. Yes.

If no oxygen gets in... which is practically impossible, a brown discoloration occurs in the bottle.

But it's only temporary. Perils of perfection.

So what do we do?

Mmm. My understanding is it only lasts a couple days.

I'll bet by morning, back to normal.

Wait. You're sure? Yeah.

Absolutely. It tastes great.

Thank you, sir. Go. All right. We gotta go.

Keep the bottle! Thank you.

No. No, no, no.

What's that?

Come on.

Gas would have been good. Yeah.

Hey. Slow down. Come on.

All right, Chevy. Huh?

Wanna stop for just a second? Hey. Hey.

Come on.

Hey, come on!

Hop out for just a sec, please?

Come on, come on, come on, come on, come on!

Your decency, people?

Sometimes it's about technique. Oh.

Can't you help?

Oops. Hello, ma'am.

That kind of indecent exposure is illegal and improper.

Excuse me. Officer. Officer. Uh, we need to make a phone call. It's an emergency.

I'll call you a tow truck. Okay. That's it.

Officer, I am being improper and illegal.

Could you please arrest me and take us to a phone?

Excuse me, Officer. You, uh-

Are you staring at her breasts?

I really think he is. I think you are.

Okay, okay. I'll- I'll drive you.

Just put your breasts away.


Shenky. My dad. Where is he?

Found the old battle armor. Went to get his old job back.

Where's the chardonnay? Big truck came by this morning.

Probably on the bottom of Old Goose Lake Landfill by now.


This way.

Hey. It's Jim.


Bill's with a client. He'll be right in. Uh, wait.

Marge, this is not a gift, but... could you put this behind your desk?

What's this? And if I ever... get another wild hair up my butt... you can just hand me that bottle.

Jim, I am really sorry that things didn't work out for you up north.

Uh- Oh, here.

Jim. Hey, Bill.

When I was a kid, I had a dog.

Just a scruffy little thing. Brown, one ear sticking up. The other one flopping down.

To me, that dog was a champion.

But as much as I tried, as much as I hoped... never so much as an honorable mention at the school dog show.


I loved that dog.

But the world around me didn't see what I saw.

To them, Pudge was just a... scruffy, brown dog.

So, this, uh, hobby of yours didn't pan out.

Well, I've talked to the other partners, and, uh... we've agreed to have you back.

But not as a partner.


I guess it's true.

I am a loser.

Yeah. Probably right, but... you got a good heart.

Well, so do you.

I know.

No, I had, uh- I had open-heart surgery when I was 12.

And my mother always told me that- that my heart has a history and... that that's what makes it special.

Well, that and the scar that I have.

So when the cop pulled over, you think it was the... breasts or the scar?

I think it was the heart.

Oh, come on.

Looked like a breast man to me.

Stop it.

Hey. Hey.


Heard what happened.


You, uh... told your dad yet?

No. I mean, it'd kill him.

500 cases of perfect wine... dumped.

Blind taste test?

Not for me, Joe. I'm sticking with vodka.

I'm not in the mood for it now. Come on, you guys.

I bought a ton of this stuff this afternoon.

Tell me what you think.

Go ahead.

Bo, y-you gotta try this.

Bo, this is the best... chardonnay I've ever tasted.

Two guys stopped in for a burger earlier.

They had a bunch of wine on its way to the dump... and they were wondering if they could make a little extra cash... by recycling the bottles.

Yeah. I'm a fan of recycling myself.

I offered 'em a few bucks to take care of it for 'em- in the name of ecology, first and foremost.

How much do you want for 'em? Just leave me a case.

Bill, it's Bo.

Tell him I'll call him back. It's forJim.

Tell him I'll call him tomorrow. He says it's urgent, Jim.

Yeah. I am staring at...

500 cases of golden-colored Château Montelena.



That's not funny.

It turned back, Dad.


Marge. Marge.

Give me-


Ho, oh, oh!

Okay. Corkscrew. You have a corkscrew?

Does anybody have a corkscrew?

Just a little- Anybody have a corkscrew around here?

Does anybody-

This is a law office, for criminy's sake.

My God! Uh, just anything that I could use?

Do you have any corkscrews?


Hang on to this.

Jesus! J- Jim.


Give me that, honey. Clear.

Jim, Jim, Jim. Clear, clear!

All right.

Hee-yah! Ha!

All right. Marge, give me a glass.

Here. Oh.

Uh-huh. Uh-huh.


Oh. Marge. Marge!

Oh, my God.! Taste that.

You'll wanna taste this. Get a glass. Get a glass.

Ah! You'll tell your children about this wine!

Oh, Jim.

That is some chardonnay.

Yeah! Finish it up. Finish it up, all of you.

All right. All right. Well-

Enjoy the chardonnay.

I don't understand.

I don't see why we need to make such a big deal out of this.

Somebody has to go... to represent our interests.


I think it should beJim Barrett. I agree.

Yeah. Yeah.

I think so.

I think that my son, Bo, should go.


I- I don't know, Jim. I- I think we need someone they're gonna look up to. No offense, Bo.

My vineyard was on the ropes.

Bo here brought it back.

If it gets rough, he can take the punches.

My vote goes to Bo.

Does anybody have any problem with that?



Bo, you'll represent us?

Yes, I will, sir.


If one of us wins, we all win, right?

Amen. That's the spirit.

Now, that, uh, plane ticket is gonna be, uh, pretty pricey at this latejuncture.

So let's put it in the hat, boys. Come on. Let's go.

Don't be shy, boys. Step right up and fill the hat.

There you go. There you go. Goodjob.

Thank you. Thank you. Well done.

That's it, boys. Step right up. Fill it up.

Right to the top. There you go.

Need any help?

Uh, well, uh... stacked all the chocks.

Uh, put all the fittings away, coiled all the hoses.

Thanks, but I think I have it covered.

Oh, shame, you know.

'Cause I was just, uh... doing my nails.

I wanted to say good-bye.

You know, in case I don't see you tomorrow.


Uh, well, night.

Good luck. Not just for Montelena.

For Napa.

That's a lot of luck.

That's why it was a kiss and not a handshake.

I could use another one.

Seeing as how there are 12 vineyards involved.

Where'd you get this?

Joe's. Fair and square?

Oh, yeah. Man, she pulls out a 1950...

Château Latour Pauillac Bordeaux blend.

Oh, yeah. I wish I could've seen that.


It's too much. No, no, no, no, no. Hey, hey, hey.

Good luck out there.

You know, thanks for representing us.


Hey, Jim. You know... there's a few things around here that I could use some help with.

You, uh... offering me my job back?

Yeah. Am I driving you or not?

Yeah. We're going. We're going. I'm driving.

No. No, you're not.


Excuse me. I'm, uh-

Monsieur Barrett! Monsieur Barrett!

Monsieur Barrett. Monsieur Barrett. Bonjour.

Yeah, bonjour, bonjour. Oui.

Oui. Bonjour, bonjour.

Don't worry about it, kid. I speak American.

Oh, thank God. You look kinda young to have your own vineyard.

Maybe that's why your wine is brown.

My wine is not brown. Please tell me it's not brown.


So, what do you think?

Where's the press?

One reporter? That's it?

One great journalist is worth a dozen hacks, Bo.

What's his name? Who?

The great wine journalist.

George Taber.

George Taber?

He, uh, rarely takes credit. Come on.

Here's the wine list and the corresponding numbers.

The numbers were picked randomly, so nobody knows which number is which.

It's a big responsibility, George.

Yeah. I got it.

I got it.

Bonjour. Ça va? ¡We're here!

Hi. I'm fine.

¡Mr. Kahn, delited!

Okay. Allons-y.! Let's go. Let's go. Agreed. Allons-y! ¡Lets go, Lets go!

Let's go. You're not a teamster, you know.

Mesdames et messieurs, bonjour.

Ladies and Gentlemen, my name is Steven Spurrier. Welcome.

I conceived this wine tasting Franco-American... to educate my palate... and others in this new forum... about winemaking in the United States.

1976, the year of the Bicentennial of the United States.

I thought an event like this... we remember the importance of France... in American history 200 years ago.

It looks like a tough bunch.

Best palates in the business.

I was surprised at the quality... of California wines.

And their originality.

There is some interest in the Napa Valley... to experiment in winemaking... with novel methods.

What's he saying?

Where I come from, they call it a left-handed compliment.

But I don't think they have a name for it in England.

It's too embedded in their culture. that said...

I've selected the best wines of California... made in the French style... together with some from my favorite French wines.

And in order to be objective... tasting will... blind.

I now...

I present to you... the Judges.

Mr Christian Vannequé... the sommelier of La Tour d'Argent...

Mr Jean-Claude Vrinat... owner of the famous restaurant Taillevent...

Mr Pierre Bréjoux...

Inspector general of the A.O. C...

Mrs Odette Kahn... chief writer... of The magazine of French Wines...

Mr Pierre Tari... secretary general of the Association of "Grands Crus Classés"...

Mr Raymond Oliver... owner and chef del Grand Vefour...

Mr Claude Dubois-Millot... director of marketing of Gault Millau... and Mr Aubert de Villaine... part-owner of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti.

Thank You everyone.

¡Lets start!


Hmm. Mmm, mmm, mmm, mmm, mmm.

My dear Bréjoux, ¿what do you think?

It is solid.

This is not a French wine.

We are here to judge the quality, not the country of origin.

Tsk, tsk, tsk. ¿Kidding?

Maurice, wh- They seem to be confused.

This is surely a French wine.

Clear. leathery... and a little dominant and its mellow.

Confused about what?

Has an acceptable taste.

About which wines are French...

For once you're right. and which ones are yours. without a doubt from California.

No, Bréjoux youre right.

This one is French.

Its acceptable.

Of course.

Unpleasant, with no taste.

Ladies and Gentlemen... let's take a little break... before moving on to the reds.

Take this opportunity... to do a vote recount for the white wines.





Two. Meursault Charmes.

Three. Chalone Vineyards.

Four? Château Montelena.

¿Who won?

¿Who won?

One second...


I'm glad you could come. Thanks.

No matter what happens, no matter what is said, stand tall.

Now... do you have anything decent to wear... and perhaps a comb in here?

Yeah, I think. Change.

Sir, I would like to see the results.


We are all waiting impatiently.

Yes, yes.

Here we go.

In First Place... with a total of 132 points...

is for...

Château Montelena... of Napa Valley... in California.

Representing Montelena...

Mr Bo Barrett.

We won?

In Second Place, with 126...

A stunning success. Stop.

Took first place with le premier cru. Stop.


Who is this?

TIME magazine? TIME magazine?

TIME magazine, man!

Well, yeah, I guess, you know... if you want to, you can take a picture of me, but I'm... really not that pretty.

A statement? Uh, I don't know.

I suppose, um- I guess, uh-

I'd have to say that... it's not bad for kids from the sticks.

Yeah. Not too bad.

"Not bad for kids from the sticks. "

It's from California? Mm-hmm.

Château Montelena. It won?

It won. Excuse me.

May we have a bottle of the '73 Montelena chardonnay, please?

No, sir. We do not carry it, but you are the eighth person to ask for it within the hour.

Hi. I'd like to buy a bottle of the, uh...

'73- Montelena chardonnay.

Yes. Why is everyone asking for the same wine?

Salud. Salud.

You okay, pally? Well...

I'm a pariah among the cavistes... and persona non grata to the vintners.

Well, I guess it could be worse.


We have shattered the myth... of the invincible French vine.

And... not just in California.

We've opened the eyes of the world.

And you know what I say? I say amen to that, brother.

You mark my words.

We'll be drinking wines from... well, South America.

Australia. New Zealand.

Africa. India.


This is not the end, Maurice.

This is just the beginning.

Welcome to the future.


# Don't you feel it growin' day by day #

# People gettin'ready for the news #

# Some are happy #

# Some are sad #

# Whoa, we got to let the music play #


We did it.

We did.

Now we gotta do it again.

And it's not gonna be any easier.


I heard a wise man once say... we're all a little stronger in the broken places.

# Oh, we're gonna dance our blues away #

Sam around?

She's down there.

Yeah! # Whoa, Listen to the music #

# Listen to the music Listen to the music, Whoa #

# Listen to the music Listen to the music #

# Listen to the music all the time #

# Whoa ##

# Wine, wine, wine # # Elderberry #

# Wine, wine, wine # # Oh, sherry #

# Wine, wine, wine # # Blackberry #

# Wine, wine, wine # # Half and half#

# Wine, wine, wine # # Oh, boy #

# Pass that bottle to me #

# If you want to get along in New Orleans town #

# Buy some wine and pass it all around #

# Age runs up 49 #

# All those cats they love sweet wine #

# Drinkin'wine spo-dee-o-dee Drink wine #

# Oh, wine spo-dee-o-dee Drink wine #

# Wine spo-dee-o-dee Drink wine #

# Pass that bottle to me ##