Tonight my beau and I went to see Bottle Shock at the Landmark Theatre in Hillcrest. Happily we both enjoyed the movie based on the event that has become known within wine circles as The Judgment of Paris. I had just read George Taber's wonderfully written book by the same name (as the event, not the movie) so I was up to speed on all of the details. As is the case with most movies based on actual historical events or based on written works the "facts" in the movie are liberally expounded. I don't recall Jim Barrett (played by Bill Pullman) being so hard up for cash or divorced (not quite sure why that part was thrown in), I don't recall the part of Sam (played by Rachel Taylor) in the written account nor Jim's son Bo (played by Chris Pine) being such a druggie/slacker but these things aside (and with Alan Rickman being a great Steven Spurrier) the key affect of the movie was made... that France was no longer alone in producing "world class" wines. The analysis at the end of Taber's book makes for a good read for anyone interested in the effects of globalization and how the one event literally created an awakening within the world to what is possible outside traditional thinking.
After the movie my beau took me across the street to Sushi Itto for a wonderful dinner. Traditionalists might throw a fit but we love this place (a little pricey but everything we've had thus far has been good). We're fans of the calamari and their Panama roll. To accompany dinner I had a glass of the Columbia Crest 2006 Grand Estates Chardonnay, one of the better Chardonnays you can get for under $30 a bottle (retail price closer to $10 in most places... a steal). A nice fruit-forward Chardonnay with hints of spicy apple and pear leading to melon and just a light touch of sweet buttery oak on tongue with a mid-length finish makes this a enjoyable summery wine.
So if you are just a little curious I would recommend you (1) see Bottle Shock and (2) grab a bottle of the Columbia Crest. If you really want an excellent accounting of the Judgment of Paris (as well as one heck of a crash course in the world of fine wines) get Taber's book, and of course if you are in Hillcrest drop in to Sushi Itto. Most importantly, do any or all of the with someone you love.