The Best Wine Quotes in Movies and Music, According to Industry Pros

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Winemakers, somms and more share their favorite wine-in-pop-culture moments.

Famous Wine Scenes

“How could I not pick Cristal Conners in Showgirls explaining her love of Champagne to Nomi Malone? I had the quote printed on my wine list and I’ve seen it on other wine lists as well:
Nomi Malone: ‘I get a headache from Champagne’
Cristal Conners: ‘Oh, this isn’t Champagne, this is holy water. I named myself after this holy water.’

Another fabulously iconic Champagne moment is the ‘Thanks, Champagne!’ skit from SNL. My friends and I still end our toasts with ‘Thanks, Champagne’ and ‘Lushury.’ It makes us laugh every single time.” —Alpana Singh, MS, owner, Terra and Vine Restaurant

“No one speaks like a true connoisseur like Steve Martin’s character Navin R. Johnson in The Jerk, who, when asked if he’d like another bottle of Château Latour, replies ‘Yes, but no more 1966. Let’s splurge! Bring us some fresh wine, the freshest you’ve got. This year’s! No more of this old stuff. He doesn’t realize he’s dealing with sophisticated people here.’ I have always loved that this little quote gives a bit of a jab to both the novice and usually self-proclaimed serious connoisseur. And the movie is such a gem!” —Josh Baker, general manager/winemaker, Phase 2 Cellars

Bottle Shock. Years after first seeing [it], I have the same feeling for North Carolina wine that they had for California wine in the ’60s and ’70s— the potential unknown to the world and the surprising quality.” —Lauren Turpin, co-owner/executive manager, Plēb Urban Winery

“The one scene that has always stayed with me was in Sideways, when Maya asks Miles…why [he’s] so into Pinot Noir, [and] he then asks her, ‘what about you.’ She says something like ‘I like to think about the life of wine, how it’s a living thing, I like to think about what was going on the year the grapes were growing, how the sun was shining, if it rained, I like to think about all the people who tended and picked the grapes. And if it’s an old wine, how many of them are dead by now. I like how wines continue to evolve like if I opened a bottle of wine today how it would taste different than any other day because a bottle of wine is actually alive and constantly evolving and gaining complexity until it peaks like your 61 and then it begins its steady inevitable decline. And it tastes so fucking good.’ ” —Meredith Smith, winemaker, Sawtooth Winery and Ste Chapelle Winery

Wine Movies: Wine and Film Through the Years

“I love how Bollinger Champagne has been James Bond’s wine of choice in every movie since Live and Let Die in 1973 (before then he often drank Dom Perignon).” —Erik Segelbaum, Founder, Somlyay LLC

“I’m a sucker for a romantic comedy, and I love the moment in French Kiss when Kevin Kline’s character is explaining terroir to Meg Ryan’s character. He tells her that wine is just like a person, absorbing influences around it to form its personality. He shares his little suitcase of dried herbs, and other aromas from his family’s land, and then she recognizes those flavors in the wine when she tastes a second time.” —Erin Lindstone, sommelier and assistant wine buyer, Barolo Grill

“I’m a Seinfeld fan, so…the awkward double date scene with Kramer and Mickey comes to mind. Everyone likes Merlot; Kramer even lives for it! But the server says they’re out. Wine can simultaneously serve as comedic relief and something to live for. It’s regularly both, and more, for us at the winery.” —Ethan Joseph, winegrower, Iapetus

“Personally, I have always enjoyed the wine references in Scandal, the TV show. Watching a powerful female character like Olivia Pope save the day and also drink Bordeaux and Châteauneuf-du-Pape was a game changer.” —Etinosa Emokpae, sommelier, Friday Saturday Sunday

Famous Wine Lyrics

“When I hear ‘California Stars’ by Wilco it makes me sentimental about my first harvest in Napa and my daily commute through Carneros at sunrise. It was somewhere in those moments I decided to be a winemaker.” —Rae Wilson, founder/winemaker, Wine for the People/The Grower Project/Dandy Rosé

“I think the very first thing that comes to mind is Notorious BIG lyrics from ‘Juicy’… Birthdays was the worst days/Now we sip Champagne when we thirsty. When I was opening Haley.Henry in 2016, I really wanted it to be a place that felt relaxed, in that you drop your preconceived notions about what wine bar music should sound like and all of the stuffy attitude that comes along with it. We embraced rap… not only because we love the vibe and music, but that it’s proven to give the wine bar the feel that you’re in someone’s house.” —Haley Fortier, owner/operator, Haley. Henry wine bar and Nathálie wine bar

“I have a special, ultra-corny wine-themed playlist for those harvest nights when we’re still sorting fruit at 2 am. Of course, ‘Red, Red Wine’ has to be in the mix, but Lee Hazelwood’s ‘Summer Wine’ is what brings the house down and keeps us keepin’ on.” —Andrew Latta, winemaker/owner, Latta Wines

“The song that created amazing images for me was Duran Duran’s hit song ‘Hungry Like the Wolf’… I grew up drinking Pinot Noir, and I actually enjoyed it back then. Well, there is a line in the song about [a girl’s] mouth having juices like wine. Yeah, that was hot to teenage me.” —Alex Sokol Blosser, winemaker/co-president, Sokol Blosser Winery and Evolution Wines

Published on April 8, 2020
Topics: Culture Issue