Review: The 2nd Best Movie Ever About Wine

Monday, September 20, 2010

I don't think we'll see a better movie about wine than Sideways anytime soon.  Wine plays such a substantial part in that movie, yet it stands as an incredible story on its own.  Some thought Bottle Shock would be the next wine movie to fascinate audiences in a similar way, but it fell flat.  Mondovino is an interesting film but fails because it assumes too much knowledge and fails to make its points crisply.

So it was with high hopes that I recently watched Blood Into Wine.  I'm pleased to report the movie was thoroughly enjoyable and I highly recommend you check it out -- depending on whether you're interested in the subject matter of the film.

If you're interesting in wine, the rock band Tool, or Arizona you'll probably like this movie.  If you like 2 of these subjects you may love this movie.  If you're into all three you may find yourself feeling as if this movie was a gift made for you.  I grew up in the Phoenix area and went to college listening to Tool's music in Northern Arizona.  I obviously care a lot about wine so I find myself in the "gift" bucket.  The movie delivered with stunning cinematography (it's unmistakably shot beautifully in Northern Arizona) and compelling story telling to provide a complete package I thoroughly enjoyed.

The story centers around Tool/A Perfect Circle/Puscifer front man Maynard James Keenan and his groundbreaking winemaking aspirations centered in Jerome, Arizona.  He's partnered with the experienced, passionate, and well-spoken Eric Glomski to deliver wine under the Caduceus (kuh-doo-see-us) label.  After overcoming challenges associated with being some of the first winemakers in the region, their wines have been rated between 86 and 91 points by Wine Spectator and have brought significant notoriety to winemaking efforts in Arizona.

Like a great wine, the movie delivers balance.  If you're more into wine than Maynard's music, or vice versa, I think you'll find the story never strays too far from your interests.  Eventually you'll likely find yourself focused on Keenan's story.  Which is summed up eloquently at the end of the film when he shares that he felt it took 7 years for people to "get" Tool, 7 years for people to "get" A Perfect Circle, and 7 years for people to "get" Puscifer -- he fully expects it will take 7 years for his foray into wine to fully come together.  His vision, passion, and persistence is inspiring.  Especially when viewed in the context of an endeavor like blogging where someone who's been at it for 3 years is considered a veteran.

In the end you may realize the movie is essentially a well-crafted 90 minute commercial for Maynard's wine making efforts.  And it may jump around with inadequate depth depending on your interests.  But you'll likely forgive these small transgressions because overall the underlying story is so compelling, and you'll be so interested in trying his wines. 

4.5/5 Stars WWP: Outstanding

Visit the official site and watch a trailer: HERE
Add it to your Netflix queue: HERE
Buy it from

Further Reading: I think a visit to Caduceus would pair brilliantly with a trip from Phoenix to Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon.  Along with two others, it's one of my favorite vacation destinations in the country.


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