Fix: Mystery, Crime Documentary, Scandal, Wine
Platforms: Hoopla, VUDU, Tubi, Kanopy, Pluto TV, IMDB TV
A dizzying chronicle of excess and deception dissects a fascinating case of fine-wine fraud and the con man who cheated investors out of millions.
A brash young guy, living the trust fund lifestyle, ingratiates himself with the major wine connoisseurs of the country, becoming their trusted confidant, while also buying up enough vintage wine to inflate the market prices. But when a Burgundy wine producer and a Koch brother collector start looking closer, they find he might not be what he seems.
A geeky kid, with an inexplicable breadth of wine knowledge, and a desire to to become a player on the wine collector auction scene. Is he also a con man with a gift for chemical engineering?
Wine grower for his family’s vineyard, Domaine Ponsot, founded in 1872, he’s one of the first to become suspicious of Rudy’s collection. He travels around the world, in an attempt to expose the scheme.
Wine consultant (dream job?) and independent expert on fine and rare wine. She can spot a counterfeit wine, and a California wine drinker a mile away. Her foul-mouthed descriptions are absolutely endearing, and she’s my new favorite.
Businessman, black sheep Koch brother, and rare wine collector. His vast collection includes wines owned by Thomas Jefferson himself. Or does it?
Couch-Sharing Capability: Share a Bottle!
For a mystery about billionaires losing millions on counterfeit wine, this is pretty light and entertaining fare. You’ll definitely want to watch with someone who shares your drink preferences, so you’ll be able to compare top notes and pretend to evaluate the complexity and character of your vintage.
Recommended Level of Inebriation: Classy
While watching a documentary about people who don’t blink an eye over spending $20,000 on a bottle of wine, you might want to be drinking something a little nicer than Three Buck Chuck. But either way, you’ll feel superior for not buying a dusty old bottle of wine that costs as much as Prius, and may not even be legit.
Use of Your Netflix Subscription: Intoxicating
I found about this documentary via my obsession with The Wine Show (streaming on Hulu in the U.S.). Matthew Goode and Matthew Rhys wine-tasting across Italy? Delightful. (I’m sorry that’s not also on Netflix!) But this film features not one, but two, of my favorite things: wine and crime. Sour Grapes will transports you to Manhattan, San Francisco, Burgundy, Los Angeles, Palm Beach, and Jakarta, hot on the trail of a boozy mystery. Cheers to that!