Recently I've been thinking about all of the wine-related movies I have watched over the past few years and the books, both entertaining and educational that I've read. And now that I have a little time on my hand, since the semester is over and my teaching load is unloaded, I thought I'd share some titles and commentary. Please add to the list!
Movies: These are probably the top-3 wine movies out.
- Sideways (2004): Starring Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church. The nouveax classic film that immediately sent shockwaves through the Merlot community and brought Pinot Noir to the awareness of the masses. An entertaining film, shot in beautiful northern California.
- Bottle Shock (2008): Starring Alan Rickman and Bill Pullman. This is a good wine-slurping movie to watch! Provides an overview of the 1976 French wine competition where California wines become prominent. I found it interesting that the portrayal of the 1976 California wine industry were of hippified, good hardworking 'folk', non-stratospherically oriented, and most of all: anti-French. Funny that today, California wines exemplify the antithesis of that vision of what it takes to make good wine.
- Mondovino (2004): Documentary. Here is what Amazon says about it: "The ultimate film about wine and wine culture, Mondovino offers an unprecedented look into the conflicts, conspiracies and alliances of the wine trade." I have yet to watch it.
- First Big Crush: The Down and Dirty on Making Great Wine Down Under (2007), Eric Arnold, Scribner, NY. $*@*!* Hilarious! I laughed out loud when I read his book. The author took a year off to learn the wine business in New Zeeland and learned a lot. Fun, interesting, entertaining, and educational too. What a blast to read!!
- The Joy of Home Winemaking (1996), Terry Garey, Quill, NY. My first home winemaking book. I read it several years ago and fired-me up enough to make my first couple of gallons! Very good introduction to home winemaking.
- From Wines to Wines: The Complete Guide to Growing Grapes and Making Your Own Wine (1999), Jeff Cox, Storey Publishing, North Adams, MA. An excellent addition to the advancing home winemaker, includes winemaking and winegrowing sections.
- The Backyard Vintner: An Enthusiast's Guide to Growing Grapes and Making Wine at Home (2005), Jim Law, Quarry Books,Glouchester, MA. Another nice addition to your collection.
- The Grape Grower: A Guide to Organic Viticulture (2002), Lon Rombough, Chelsea Green Publishing, White River Junction, VT. A very comprehensive guide to growing grapes organically.
- Understanding Wine Technology: The Science of Wine Explained (2005), David Bird, DBQA Publishing, Great Britain. This was one of my first enology textbooks and does a pretty good job of helping the novice take the next step toward greater understanding. Maybe a bit heavy with European wine jargon but still a great resource!
- Cooperage for Winemakers: A Manual on the Construction, Maintenance and use of Oak Barrels (2005), Geoffrey Schahinger and Bruce Rankine, Winetitles, Adelaide Austrailia. Everything you'd ever want to know about barrels and then some. Put this in your library.
- Concepts in Wine Technology (2004), Yair Margalit, The Wine Appreciation Guild, San Francisco, CA. A very technically laden, chemistry-intensive book. But if you can get through the techno-jargon this book will serve as a great resource. One of my first wine science text books -- for the enology student or serious wine geek.
- Micro Vinification: A Practical Guide to Small-Scale Wine Production (2001), Murli Dharmadhikari and Karl Wilker, Southwest Missouri State University, Mountain Grove, MO. Most likely my favorite winemaking text/guidebook I use very frequently. Buy this book! First used in my wine science class, I now use it regularly for SO2 calculations and titrations, TA, and nearly all laboratory procedures. A must have!