You know the feeling when you fall in love with something and discover there is a whole genre of movies and documentaries just waiting for you? That’s how my husband and I felt when a friend mentioned that we would like Somm on Netflix. We watched it and became totally invested in who would pass their Master Sommelier test. It’s like watching the Olympics of wine tasting— they can accomplish extraordinary feats like discerning grape varietals, climate of origin, and vintage years by observing, smelling and tasting the wine. We followed our favorites in the next installment, Somm: Into the Bottle, and started printing off wine tasting worksheets from Masterssommeliers.org so we could play along with our wine of the night. From watching and learning, I am pretty confident I could discern a Chardonnay from a Pinot Noir and not much else with real confidence. But seriously, the sommeliers sharing their journey have an extraordinary gift and I’m grateful to those who are able to taste and describe for those like me, who are still figuring out how to describe wines they want to drink with dinner. Needless to say, we are stoked for the premiere of Somm 3 next month!
Thirsty for more, we next watched Decanted, a documentary about winemaking in Napa and it highlighted the establishment of Italics winery. Of course, Italics was at the top of list of wineries to visit. I must admit I was fangirling a little bit during our tour and tasting. It was a blast to see the improvements made to the buildings from the time that the documentary was shot. What can I say, I don’t get out much!
I blame our next wine flick for my husband’s obsession with checking every wine cork we pull at a restaurant to make sure it matches the label on the bottle. Sour Grapes is the saga of wine counterfeiter Rudy Kurniawan. It draws you in with a true-crime story, and then offers a glimpse into a world of Lifestyles of the Rich and Spending a Shit-ton of Money on Wine. When it came out that Johnny Depp spent thirty thousand a month on wine, I wasn’t too shocked, but I was flabbergasted by the money dropped by Burgundy collectors and the video clips of Rudy and friends bragging about the cost of the bottles they had popped that night. I felt so much better about socking away a few Napa Cabs that cost more than our monthly car payment in 1990.
So what is the most important thing that I’ve learned from my wine entertainment? The best way to learn more about wine is to drink more wine! And that’s a lesson I can take to heart.