Spit Happens #35 Wine Food Films

I have had some spare time lately and decided to go back and watch a few wine and food related films. This has been a fun way to armchair travel the world of wine and stretch my brain at the same time. So I figured why not share my favorites with you ? Ultimately wine is about taste but what adds to the context is the people and the place. Also understanding the back story about a particular practice or ritual in wine can create a deeper understanding of the forces at work that create a wine culture . All types of wine are needed for a wine culture to survive from basic vin de table to super collectible wines. Here is my top three list of favorite wine films:

Mondovino

 

This documentary was released in 2004 and is a snapshot into impending globalization of wine and some of the possible consequences . There is a discussion of generational changes in wine making that touch on the transition in Hubert Montille’s winery and the shifting public taste in wine from Volnay and the role that gender plays in succession. Hubert passed away ten years later. There is a section focused on Michelle Rolland that focuses on his influence in wine making around the world and the Parkerization of wine. Also an interview with the Mondavi family and their planned expansion into France and what that might mean. A portion of the film spends some time with Robert Parker. There is a hilarious scene with his dog that I’m not going to spoil. A lot has happened in the time between the films release and now so it’s interesting to see what they got right and what has happened to a number of these pivotal players in the wine world.

Somm

 

 

There are two major wine qualifications available for people who are interested in a non-production related carreer . Master of Wine or Master Sommelier . This movie follows 4 industry professionals along the path towards the Master Sommelier Exam and the mentorship provided by some notable Icons of the wine world most notably a gentleman named Fred Dame . Fred was the first non European to lead the Court of Master Sommeliers and the first person to pass all three parts of the Master Sommelier exam in a single year . There is a fine line between competency , deep knowledge and obsession and these 4 candidates cross the line back and forth many times. By the end you are vested in the experience and interested in the outcome. Not what you expect. And the description of a wine smelling like a tin off freshly opened tennis balls is cringe worthy and hilarious all in one.

About this time you are probably wondering if I’m going to write about Sideways. Well I’m not I’m going to go farther back and reference a piece of fiction.

 

Babettes Feast 

 

From Amazon.ca “ Released in 1987, Babette’s Feast is a film which depicts so little, yet says so much. Set in a rural Danish community, it centres around the twin sisters of
the village pastor and the French women who serves them after fleeing the 1871 revolution. On winning the lottery she plans a feast to mark the centenary of the sisters’ father, bringing a dimension of fine living into the lives of the God-fearing Lutherans and healing festering personal animosities in the process. “ I love this film in it’s spare quiet delivery and the meaning of sharing food and wine and the deeper symbolism of what it means to cook for people. It’s also about the ability of food to bridge the gaps of social division . Cooking and sharing a meal is not just about fuel for your body ( although it can be) It’s also an expression of caring and love for your fellow humans. This film shows how much emotion and gratefulness can be expressed simply by the attention you pay your food and it’s presentation. Lovely sentiment and a restrained message.

Thanks for your time.

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Remember Spit Happens, tell your friends, drink great wine and eat great food.

Cheers

David Lancelot

Spit Happens #34 What would you Buy ?

A recent post on the Vancouver Magazine website asked a former colleague of mine, Michaela Morris, what wines would you buy for $100 ? Link here . This got the wheels turning in my head and I thought it might be worth exploring the concept. I have some preconceived notions about the concept of price in wine and how it relates to quality and uniqueness. I have long stated that the biggest quality increase occur when you go from the 15$ range in BC to the $25 – $30 range. At 15$ you are buying what I call commodity wines. These are wines made to hit a specific price point, generally sound and exhibiting a degree of varietal character. At the next price point you have effectively doubled the amount of money the winery can spend on the things that materially effect the quality of the wine, IE better viticulture techniques, lower yields , better quality oak and perhaps some extra time in the bottle before release. When you are in the $50-$100 you are getting something that is also likely to have the ability to age a fair while and has received some recognition in the press so the price in some ways reflects the wines status and availability in the marketplace. With that in mind I would probably look at 1 bottle in the $50 range and 2 in the $25. My theory being I’m always looking for something to add to my cellar and something for more immediate consumption. There are more weekdays than there are Birthdays and special occasions.

First something a bit more special.

I really like Chablis. The Daniel Dampt Chablis Fourchaume 2015 is a brilliant white with texture and lovely depth that doesn’t rely on a ton of oak to build flavor . This is farming and wine-making at its best. Link . The following is a review from Alan Meadows Burghound Newsletter
“There is good ripeness to the green fruit, oyster shell and iodine aromas that give way to rich and quite full-bodied flavors that also possess a textured mouth feel on the sappy, delicious and lingering finish that offers good if not truly special depth.”
– The Burghound, Issue 64 89 points

Next a visit to Spain where I think some of the best deals around can be found.

Ribera Del Duero- Marta & Mate Pixide 2013 is an British Columbia Liquor Board exclusive. Link For $19 this wine is a steal. 90 Points Robert Parker Wine Advocate – “The 2013 Píxide was very perfumed, floral, open, clean and aromatic with very good freshness. The palate is medium to full-bodied with very fine, abundant tannins, good balance and persistence.”
I’m so impressed by this. Tons of character and very expressive. This should be on every restaurant wine list in BC. I would go out more if it was.

I have an ongoing love affair with Riesling and todays post is not going to be any different.
My third choice would be St Urbans Hof Riesling Mosel Old Vines 2016 listed by the British Columbia Liquor Board for $26.49. Link Dang this is good wine ! This is built for near term drinking. Beautiful etched acidity with enough residual sweetness to make it a brilliant match with Spicy Thai roast porketta sandwiches or some fresh asparagus that we will start seeing shortly.

Thanks for your time.
If you have any feedback we would love to hear from you on our Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/winecellardepot/ .
Also check out our Houzz Page for design ideas and planning.
http://www.houzz.com/pro/winecellardepot/wine-cellar-depot

Remember Spit Happens, tell your friends, drink great wine and eat great food.

Cheers
David Lancelot

 

 

 

 

 

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