A perfect fall day in Napa Valley....the vines changing color like the autumn leaves in Wisconsin. The temp at 60- weather where a coat is too much and a sweater is just right. There was a crispness in the air and a buzz that would of made you thought that this was a spring day - with the bees buzzing around, pollinating every blossom they could......but no! What was this BUZZ! These People were gathering from all over the country for one thing - the exclusive first showing of the movie SOMM.....
A little background here. This movie follows 4 Advanced Sommeliers, all with different personalities, all with different skills but all with one hope- to pass this bad ass test to become one of the elite few to call themselves - Master Sommelier.
The producer is Jason Wise. A handsome, outspoken, young and exciting guy whose excitement is almost contagious. He wears his emotions on his sleeve and is a very humble soul. He is thankful and full of life and hope. I was lucky enough to spend 11 days in Italy with him and his also handsome and talented sidekick, Jackson Meyers. I was blessed to have been chosen through the Guild of Sommeliers to go to Italy with 4 other gents. I was the only woman with 5 male super tasters and the 2 guys filming for this movie- all while traveling through whats known to be the most romantic country in the world.....Imagine it...Really it was a dream. We drank wine, talked shit and ate like kings and queens....and then drank some more! We even got asked if we were part of the "bachelorette" taping as I was the only girl on a table of 16 at the Banfi Castle in Tuscany! HA! And then there was that damn FERNET BRANCA!
Anyway - So a great bond was established and then I hear the news that the movie is finally coming out and BAM - here I was....In Napa Valley about to see this masterpiece.
The movie was great in many ways. Jason took each of the 4 guys and really let their personalities come through and shine. I felt like I knew all 4 guys when I left the Opera House that night and just by watching this movie! Jason created a movie that was serious and ultimately funny. I held my breath on parts, gasped on some and laughed my ass off on others.
The music in this movie was magnificent. I was tapping my toes sometimes and others I wouldn't even know the music was there and then all of a sudden your mind would drift to the music in the back out of nowhere.
I also believe the wine business needs a movie like this....not one where its always perfect and a love story and everyone lives happily ever after. And also Not one that focuses more on this paradise and fantasy world that most wine focused movies end up being. The Wine business and wine world is hard work, determination and mostly- willpower. Now... don't get me wrong.....it can sometimes be glamorous and completely awesome....like being able to get free poured Krug all night long is pretty stellar! And waking up in the middle of a vineyard at the winery that I was staying at for free because of my friend owns it. And going horseback riding in the vineyards and drinking the very Cabernet they made from the vineyard I was sleeping in. (sigh - I love the wine world) But still - to get to that point takes time, loyalty and tons of glasses of wine and sleepless nights and long days that lead to longer nights. Its not all wine, food, travel and fun.
These 4 guys are not crazy- they are relentless in getting what they want. This test isn't just hard....its hardening. And they should be commended for even trying to pass it. As Jason and his partners should be commended for thinking up this idea and then making it happen. He has what it takes, just like these 4 guys did - to put their life on hold, work extremely hard and be focused, to achieve their dreams. They did it. He did it.
This movie made me want to do more with my life and re-sparked a feeling that I didnt even know had left me.