Films and documentaries involving wine are a genre worth checking out for wine lovers. From road trip movies to serious films, there are plenty to choose from, and some you may not even have heard of.
As everyone is spending rather more time than normal at home, movies and online entertainment have become more important. Now seems a good time for the team at Ideal Wine Company to recommend our favourites to enjoy during lockdown – preferably with a nice glass of chilled white!
9 of the best wine movies and documentaries ever made
- A Good Year
This 2006 movie was directed by Ridley Scott and based on a book by the author of bestseller A Year in Provence (Peter Mayle). Starring Russell Crowe, this light-hearted movie follows his character’s plight as he decides whether to sell the winery he’s just inherited. As the winery in question is located in Provence, there is a lot of gorgeous scenery and flashes of the picturesque French countryside. Available on Hulu,.
- A Year in Burgundy
This documentary came out in 2013 and concentrates on seven winemakers in France. The film follows them throughout the 2011 winemaking season in Burgundy. Made by veteran documentary director David Kennard, it gives a great insight into the process behind your favourite glass of wine. Currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
- Bottle Shock
A 2008 movie starring Chris Pine, Bill Pullman and Alan Rickman, its plot centres on the true story of the 1976 US v France blind tasting. This infamous event put Californian wines directly up against the best French wines in a public forum. It’s a light recreation of the event with a stellar cast and is very much worth a view.
Possibly the most famous movie based on wine, Sideways stars Paul Giamatti as the anti-hero wine snob Miles Raymond. Directed by Alexander Payne, it was a commercial and critical success when it was released in 2004 and is just as enjoyable today.
This documentary came out in the same year as Sideways but is far more obscure. Split into ten parts, it covers every aspect of winemaking. With a slightly unpolished feel, it’s not as glossy as some other wine documentaries but it’s extremely informative and gives a brilliant overview of what goes into making wine behind the scenes.
- Sour Grapes
Another fascinating documentary, this film was released in 2016 and covers a criminal network of counterfeit wine. A major enterprise created thousands of bottles of counterfeit versions of rare and expensive fine wines and sold many of them at auction. The fraud was uncovered by a dedicated team of wine collectors, a French winemaker and federal investigators. Well worth a watch.
- You Will Be My Son
This is our second favourite movie about wine after Sideways and tells the story of a fictional wine making family in the Bordeaux region of France. The film centres on the drama of who will take on the role of head winemaker and is a compelling, entertaining yet believable film. It helps to know some background information on wine to truly enjoy this movie, which makes it ideal for wine buffs to enjoy during lockdown.
- The Wine Guys
Another documentary, this came out in 2019. Split into six parts, it focuses on three friends and wine importers who are searching for amazing wines to sell back in North America. Each of the three wine guys in the documentary are passionate, knowledgeable and make for an infectious, light-hearted documentary.
- Back to Burgundy
This movie was released in 2018 and is about a fictional wine making family based in Burgundy, France. Three battling siblings take the family vineyard and winery through two harvest and four seasons, and as it stars an actual winemaker in the form of Jean-Marc Roulot, it’s true to life and ideal for wine lovers.