Archive for the 'TV and movies' Category

End of an era: Gary Vaynerchuk quits daily wine videos

“You, with such a smaller part of me than you realize, we have changed the wine world.”

That’s how Gary Vaynerchuk concluded what he said was his final wine video. (He had previously announced stepping down from his position at Wine Library.) I was once a guest on Wine Library TV, aka the “Thunder Show,” and the show had a fun run for five years. I wish Gary sunny skies in his future endeavors.

But what does Gary’s departure mean for wine video? After five years of gaining lots of traction on WLTV, he has come to define the space, with his gonzo style and spitting into a Jets bucket. Wine and TV are a difficult blend to master. Gary had his own distinctive style. It will be interesting to see what others can do with wine video, from finding a business model that works to the style of entertainment.

Meanwhile, the Jets dump bucket has to go into a wine Hall of Fame.

“Totally Uncorked” [TIME]
“A wine guru for the YouTube era” [Slate]
“The Pour – This Wine Critic Can Drive People to Drink” [NYT]

Move over Old Spice guy, here comes Zin man

Okay, this isn’t going to knock the Old Spice guy out of the advertising Hall of Fame. But, hey, it’s the best wine ad I’ve ever seen! I raise a glass of 14.4% alcohol zinfandel in the ad’s honor.

Addendum: cork marketers, take note!
UPDATE: I posted a few more details about making the ad.

How Angelus became James Bond’s choice

In a memorable scene in Casino Royale, James Bond sipped Chateau Angelus on a train while meeting Vesper Lynd. The St Emilion maker of bold blend of merlot and cabernet franc paid for the placement in cash and wine.

Jean-Bernard Grenié told me today that the laws prohibiting advertising wine in France made the producer pursue a strategy of product placement in movies. Their agent in Paris had a connection to the Broccoli family, producers of the Bond film, and sent them a case. Grenié said that they “loved” the wines. Angelus paid “some cash and some wine” for the placement. Grenié did not specify the amount of either. Co-owner Hubert de Bouard had previously told that the impact on sales was “unbelievable.”

Will it be James Bond’s wine of choice in future movies? “Yes,” Grenié replied, adding “as long as somebody doesn’t pay more than we did.”

Important wine update from Cougar Town

Last week we heard about baboons who give Chardonnay a thumbs up. This week we learn that cougars like Merlot!

If they are on ABC’s Cougar Town, that is. Also, pouring wine should be done to the rim, apparently.

Of note: Sheryl Crow played a sales rep at wine distributor in Wednesday night’s episode. As SlateWine quipped on Twitter, “Does this mean she supports three-tier system? Say it ain’t so, Ms. Crow.” Couldn’t she bring her glamor to another part of the wine biz, such as an independent shop owner? The cougars have to buy their Merlot from somewhere, after all.

Make your own robotic wine video! [contest]

There have been a couple of videos about the wine business circulating recently. They both have used a site called xtranormal, which allows users to select a scene, type text, chose camera angles and music to make a short video.

If you have been dying to make your own wine “movie,” now is your chance! Whip up a short video (about a minute) and paste the link in the comments here by next Monday. Then we can vote from short list of finalists next week. Check out the above video for instructions!

Besides the heapings of glory, the top vote getter will win a copy of my book, A Year of Wine! So just when you thought you might get some work done after Labor Day, surf on over and get started at (Btw, I found that the editing only worked in the Safari browser.)

An olde tyme wine tasting scene

For your time wasting needs today, we bring you a mildly amusing wine tasting scene with Vincent Price and Peter Lorre. It may be from 1972 and be based on the Edgar Allan Poe short story “The Cask of Amontillado.” But if you know for sure, hit the comments.

Truth and fiction: Ross Schwartz, screenwriter of Bottle Shock, the movie

rossschwartz“I was a lawyer for 25 years; I’m different than everyone else in this room because I am not interested in the truth.”

So Ross Schwartz told the assembled group at the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers in Napa last week. Schwartz, formerly an entertainment lawyer based in Los Angeles, wrote the screenplay for the movie Bottle Shock, which stars Alan Rickman and recently appeared on DVD. It loosely depicts the events of the Paris tasting of 1976 when a Chateau Montelena Chardonnay and a Stag’s Leap Cabernet Sauvignon surprised the wine world by beating their French peers in a blind tasting. Schwartz elaborated on his goals for the screenplay, “When people walk out of the movie, I just want people to know who won the tasting and to want to buy a good bottle of wine.”

He said that he initially rebuffed the idea Read more…

Billionaire’s Vinegar moves closer to splashing on the silver screen

What do you get when you cross Jurassic Park, Mission Impossible, the most recent Indiana Jones with a tale of fraud in fine wine? The apparent answer is: the movie version of The Billionaire’s Vinegar: The Mystery of the World’s Most Expensive Bottle of Wine.

According to Variety, the superb wine book now has writer/director David Koepp on board the movie version. With those action movies under his belt, the odds of a chase scene in the movie now stand at 2:1. The main question is whether they will be running with bottles of 1787 Lafitte in hand.

When I previously posted about the book, I wondered if they would amplify the tiny role that women occupy in the book. And even before that, we were speculating about casting decisions. Add your new thoughts if you have any!

As with the Capote movies and two movie versions of the Paris Tasting, there were at one point last year two productions happening around this juicy tale of bling and fraud. This version seems to be inching closer to becoming reality.


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