We find ourselves in the middle of Awards Season and whether or not you have seen all of the nominated movies you, like me are still inundated with the shows; Golden Globes, SAG Awards, Critics Choice, and finally the big one…the Oscars! Kirsten and I have been fortunate enough to be able to screen many of the nominated movies and I was pleased to see that the offerings were not only from big studios but also some small independent production companies. The quality of the movies was all very good but the ones that stood out for me were the smaller productions. We really enjoyed a small Polish movie called “Ida,” a drama about a young novitiate nun in 1960 who discovers her dark family past before taking her vows…okay, so not very commercial, (did I mention it was subtitled,) but it was shot so beautifully in black and white and each scene was like a painting. So what does this have to do with wine?? When it comes to wine production I could make a comparison to the movie industry. There are many big wine producers with large facilities, budgets, and a huge quantity of varietals offered, and then there are the smaller producers who might be off the beaten track, more ‘mom & pop’ styled with limited resources but at the same time producing very nuanced wines which can stir your emotions. Back in the early days of movie making there was a studio system in which a handful of large film companies (MGM, RKO, Paramount, Warner Bros, 20th) controlled the industry…in the early days of California wine, there were a handful of established wineries such as Charles Krug, Beaulieu, Christian Brothers and Mondavi, and they were the controlling factors in the wine industry. As each of these industries grew, with more and more folks throwing their ‘hat in the ring’ to become film makers or wine makers, the general public was afforded more choices …you get the picture! I was personally drawn to a small movie called “Whiplash” which caused a great deal of discussion in our household…it kind of reminded me of when I share a wine from a small producer with friends…it is always so much fun to see their reaction and the ensuing discussion, no two people will agree with what they are tasting!! I recently have wondered what the ‘Academy of Wine Awards’ would look like…the categories might look like this:
“Best Performance by a Red Blend”
“Best Label Design”
“Best Whole Cluster Pinot Noir” – Small Production Winery
“Best Performance by a Winemaker(‘s) Large Production Winery
“Best Wine Pairing with Seafood”
The categories are endless…who has your vote?