Sunday, October 16, 2011

Wine Movie : Mondovino

Mondovino, Italian for World of Wine, is an interesting movie about the changing wine world, including the effects of globalization, wine consultants like Michel Rolland, a French version of Leo McCloskey from An Ideal Wine, and Robert Parker's ratings. It presents perspectives of both the old and new guard.

The old guard is represented by a number of likable, mostly cranky, old men. They are all about terroir and tradition. They think wine is a mystic communal between man and nature. The don't mind that it takes 20 years for a Bordeaux to become accessible; it produces a better result. One even goes so far as to pronounce wine dead. One sees the Parkerization of the industry as an American attacking the wine world. They believe brands eventually die, but terroir lasts forever. They bring up interesting points, that raised my interest in the traditional Old World wines of which I haven't had much experience with.

The new guard is interested in accessing as many customers as possible. Some use consultants to improve their wine, sometimes without even understanding what the consultants are doing. The new guard is interested in expanding across country boundaries, to make the best wine everywhere. They regard some of the old guard as country bumpkins.

The movie is mostly a read-a-movie, though some English is spoken. It was impressive that the filmmaker appeared to speak all the languages spoken in the film. The camera work was a bit shoddy at times, some close up of eyes, and lots of jittering. It was also annoying that the camera seemed to favor dogs over the subject, which might be a plus for dog lovers, but wasn't for me.

After seeing this movie I'm very interested in trying a bunch of these wines, especially Domaine de Souch, Opus One, a joint effort of Baron Philippe de Rothschild of Château Mouton Rothschild and Robert Mondavi, and Ornellaia, a wine pronounced #1 in the world after Mondavi took it over. I'm not certain I can convince my wife on a purchase of this size though. I would also love to have a blind tasting pitting the old vs the new. Wiki has the complete list of the vineyards that appeared in the file; gotta love wiki!

I recommend this movie. I really liked it, giving it it four stars out of five.