It’s one of the most famous moments in wine history, but with dueling pics in the works the venom already has been uncorked.
“Judgment of Paris,” and “Bottle Shock” both center on the 1976 blind tasting at which French experts chose wines from the Napa Valley over those from France.
But Steven Spurrier, the wine expert behind the tasting who optioned his life rights to the producers of “Judgment of Paris,” doesn’t like the taste of “Bottle Shock.”
Spurrier told Decanter magazine, where he’s a consulting editor, “There is hardly a word that is true in the script and many, many pure inventions as far as I am concerned.”
He also says the script depicts him as “an impossibly effete snob.”
Of course, his reaction may also be soured by the fact that “Bottle Shock,” in which he is played by Alan Rickman, has gotten the jump on “Judgment.”
“Bottle” started shooting Aug. 1 in the Napa and Sonoma valleys under helmer Randall Miller, while the script for “Judgment,” based on the tome by George M. Taber, is still being written by scribe and Sonoma vineyard owner Robert Mark Kamen.
Another bone of contention: The two pics deviate in how they portray Mike Grgich, a former winemaker at Chateau Montelena, and winery owner Jim Barrett. Both have claimed credit for the success of Montelena, with Grgich now running his own winery.
In “Bottle Shock” Grgich makes a fleeting appearance, whereas in Kamen’s version, he is expected to play a more central role. In “Bottle Shock,” it’s Barrett, played by Bill Pullman who gets the spotlight.