In between the intensity of my project at work, I’ve had an opportunity to start enjoying some Netflix DVDs again now that the current tv season is finished. I just got through Mondovino, a 2+ hour documentary on the global wine industry. I’m still not sure exactly what to make of it all, so I’ll just throw out my key observations.

1) Jonathan Nossiter (or at least his cameraman) really, really loves dogs. They make an appearance continually throughout the documentary no matter what country / city he’s in, from the remote parts of Argentina and Brazil to cities in the US and Europe.

2) The French blame the Americans for “globalization” of the wine industry and the decline of French traditional control over the wine industry. Robert Mondavi and Robert Parker are locked in a gigantic conspiracy to destroy the French. They especially dislike the fact that Americans use a dirty tool called “marketing”.

3) However, the French applaud the work of Bernard Magrez, essentially a French version of Mondavi, who is spreading the same brand of global wine and has a similar up-from-the-bootstraps kind of story. Even though he’s basically cut from the same cloth, he’s ok because he’s French.

4) The Italians (or at least the many marquises interviewed) liked Mussolini, are split on the Mondavis, and were concerned about the Social Forum.

5) The global wine industry, like so many things, is heavily afflicted by racism and nationalism.

6) Everyone interested in producing competitive wine at an international level should just call Michel Roland.

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