Saturday, February 11, 2012

"Bottle Shock" Meets Wine for Water

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"Bottle Shock" Meets Wine for Water

(from 8/6/08)

bottle shock huge rickman.jpg I thought it was an odd coincidence. You may know from my profile that I am the writer-researcher of "The Tim McCarver Show," and last Monday we taped an upcoming show with Tom Seaver, the greatest player in the history of the New York Mets. I would say that about 49% of the time, Tom talked about pitching, and the other 51% of the time, he talked about his new career, which he approaches with the same intensity and preparation he did when he was winning each of his 311 games. For several years, Tom and Nancy Seaver have been living on a three-acre vineyard just south of Calistoga, California, in the Napa Valley, and as the $75 bottle of cabernet sauvignon in his hand indicated, he is ready to sell the fruits of his labor. George Thomas Seaver is debuting his own label, GTS, and admitted to being as nervous and proud as when he debuted on major league mounds in 1967, his Rookie of the Year campaign. In his new profession he is an outsider who has earned respect in a land where most winemakers were born on their land and ate soil for breakfast. The coincidence I mentioned above is that the very next night, I attended a screening of the fanciful "Bottle Shock," in which the lead character, played by Bill Pullman, has given up the business world to try to fulfill his dream of creating the best wine in the entire Napa Valley. It's not the story of Tom Seaver—Pullman doesn't have Seaver's high-pitched laugh or laugh at all--but it is based on a true story set in 1976, when Jim Barrett's California hand-crafted chardonnay upset the best of French wine in a blind tasting. Randall Miller's clumsy but amiable "Bottle Shock," which opened Wednesday in New York, has won a few awards at festivals, including one for Best Actor for Alan Rickman (whose wit is on display as the British expatriate who holds the contest) at this year's Seattle International Film Festival, and an Audience Award for the fun ensemble (including the on-the-rise Freddy Rodriguez); and the audience at the screening enjoyed it.
I want to point out that the screening was an effective promotion for the charity Wine to Water, which has projects in seven countries in East Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia to bring clean water to desperate people. Everyone from the Boone, North Carolina-based WIW had come to New York and you'll never meet a nicer group. Or one that is more committed to doing good. Doc Hendley, the young Executive Director, told me that his charity has a connection to UNICEF's clean-water-for-children project that I support. So I'd like to direct everyone to the website, Or you can write to: Wine to Water PO Box 2567, Boone, NC, 28607. You can reach Doc himself at 828-406-1955 and

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