So, I already mentioned that this is an underdog story, but I don't think I've mentioned that this movie is based on a true story. However, it turns out that the movie makers used lots and lots of artistic license when it came to telling the story of how, in 1976, a bottle of Chardonnay from the Napa valley bested the French competitors in a blind tasting in France! From the stereotypical portrayals of snooty French to hippy Californians...and from the period vehicles to the dusty, undeveloped Napa valley landscapes, I loved it all.
One of my favorite scenes and exchanges...when Steven Spurrier (played by Alan Rickman) visits Chateau Montelena.
Steven Spurrier: Because you think I'm an arsehole. And I'm not, really. I'm just British and, well... you're not.
'Shale and Stone' describes the vineyard's ancient fractured shale soils while the 'stone' refers to the extended sur lie aging in concrete. This wine surprised me as I was expecting an overbearing, oaky California Chardonnay that borders on too fruity and sweet. This was anything but that. It was amazingly crisp and fresh with aromas of nuts and unripe stone fruits. What a delicious surprise!
Ingredients serves 4
- 2 ripe avocados (I used bacon avocados)
- freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste (I used 1-1/2 lemons)
- 1 to 2 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 to 2 teaspoons minced fresh cilantro plus more for garnish
- 1 teaspoon chopped, seeded jalapeño (optional)
- freshly ground salt, to taste
- freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Also needed: chips for serving
Serve immediately with your favorite kind of tortilla chips.