Film Review – Red Obsession

fhrpfohThere is something magical about wine. I’m no connoisseur, but when it comes to alcohol, aged grape juice (did I just commit blasphemy by calling it that?) is probably my favourite.

Narrated by Russell Crowe, and I hope he managed to get lots of cases of wine as part of his deal, Red Obsession looks at the art and economics of wine growing, focusing primarily on the Bordeaux region, which is the grand-daddy of all wine regions.

The documentary starts off with an introduction to the art of wine, with a little bit of history thrown in for good measure that informs us that the first plant was grown by the Romans some 2000 years ago. It features wine makers who are passionate to the core about what they produce going as far as stating that wine has “soul” and “character” that defines it. The film also focuses on the romance that is undoubtedly attached to every aspect of wine, from the time the ground is made ready for plantation to pretty much the time it ends up being drunk and what that often leads to is left to your imagination – wink wink.

Red Obsession is also about the effect wine has had on people around the world, and that’s not in terms of intoxication. From the fluctuating prices based on whether a wine year is “good” or not, to the levels people will go to get that one special bottle of wine from that one special wine growing estate, the obsession has no end. Be it the Bordeaux index which lets people invest in wine or the need to have the best there is, the wine economy is driven by a limited supply but a heavy demand.

The second half of the documentary is almost all about the wine culture in China, which partly explains the title. It looks at how the rising prices of Bordeaux shifted wine sales from America, who started finding it beyond their budget now, to China, who was ready to tap into a new business opportunity with open arms. Red Obsession is also a stark look at how China is leading the world economy at present, because after familiarizing themselves with the wines of Bordeaux over the past few years, they have now started producing their own wine, have estates that are inspired from their European counterparts, and are already winning accolades at international wine events many a times beating the wines from Bordeaux.

What the future of wine holds on an international level, no one is certain, but just like any other business, most of us still remain unaware of the influence and power a bottle of “Red” holds, every time we open one up to drink it. Red Obsession is an insight and introduction to the business that is Wine.

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