Though it's hard to believe, over 30 years ago, wines from continents other than Europe (and countries other than France and Italy) were considered crap. Not less palatable or uncertain in quality: Boone's Farm meets Thunderbird. Uncivilized swill. Of course, this wasn't true. Napa Valley, as well as regions in Australia, were creating wonderful vintages. But since the French controlled everything about the culture of the grape, their disdain meant no one took outsider vineyards seriously.
In 1976, all that changed. During the year of America's Bicentennial, a British merchant working in Paris came to California looking for participants for his exclusive tasting competition. He hoped to raise awareness of his failing shop and solidify his place in the snobbish wine society. Instead, winemonger Stephen Spurrier made history, and his accidental discoveries sent international palettes into something akin to Bottle Shock. Now, decades since the U.S. became part of cultured world cuisine, director Randall Miller offers up a serio-comic take on the event, and for the most part, it's as tasty as a well-aged Burgundy.
Continue reading: Bottle Shock Review