The SOMM Journal

February / March 2016

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Page 101 of 132

{ }  101 Back in November, I caught up with Jason Wise, director of SOMM: Into the Bottle, at the Napa Valley Film Fest where the movie headlined and premiered. "I'm not an expert on wine," he said, "but I'm not afraid to embrace it—and lucky for me I don't have to sell it." But he is selling stories on wine and, while this film is not exactly a sequel to the first SOMM documentary, there are a lot of repeat characters, such as Fred Dame, Brian McClintic, Ian Cauble and Dlynn Proctor, who, along with a cast of recognizable people to those in the industry, do a great job of telling an invigorating tale of the history of wine. "The wine list in my opinion is the only thing," explained Wise, "that every person has opened up and at some point felt confused and stupid. So we decided that the wine list is a storybook that only certain people can read—and sommeliers are those people. They don't look at a bunch of Burgundies and go straight to price—they look at the names and think, 'This guy uses new oak,' 'This guy's a jerk,' 'This guy has a ton of money and it's all BS.' They know all this stuff, so our goal was to show that the wine list is really a storybook in code. The film doesn't solve the code, but it points out that it's there." —Jonathan Cristaldi Soaring SPIRITS Somms do not live by wine alone. Supporting the dramatic trend toward artisan flavors, in spirits and wines, was the booth of Michter's US*1 Whiskeys. As the direct descendant of America's first whiskey distillery and supplier to George Washington's troops during the terrible winter at Valley Forge, Michter's Kentucky Straight Rye, Kentucky Straight Bourbon, Sour Mash and American Whiskey exemplify how American passion and commitment to excellence are historical qualities. Old Pal • 1 oz. Michter's Single Barrel Straight Rye •1 oz. Cocchi Americano •1 oz. Gran Classico Bitter Bartender David Ruiz mixes an Old Pal, featuring Michter's Single Barrel Straight Rye. Wise WORDS PHOTO COURTESY OF NAPA VALLEY FILM FESTIVAL Director Jason Wise at the Somm: Into the Bottle opening night party at the Riverfront Promenade at the 2015 Napa Valley Film Festival.

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