sommThe SOMM sequel kicked off of the Napa Valley Film Festival, and 750 people were packed in Napa’s Uptown Theater to see what boy genius Jason Wise had come up with next for oenophiles.

Wise said part of the impetus for making the sequel was to satisfy those who felt SOMM wasn’t as “educational” as it could be about the wine world.

The director took up the challenge in a big way. The film covered everything from the wines of Domaine de la RomanéeConti (DRC), which can be found on wine lists for $10,500, to the world wars and their effect on Alsace, to the debate over the scoring of wine.

The film, to be released in February of 2016, will have wide appeal, for the novice and the  serious wine-lover — and everyone in-between. The geographic reach of the film, with footage from countless countries, is impressive in and of itself.

The festival will run through Sunday and to track all the screenings, visit

The sweetest part of Wise’s film  for me was getting a chance to peek into the cellar and spend time with Aubert de Villaine, the man behind the wines of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti (DRC)

He explained that while wine is a cultural object, we should also remember that it is food. Heady stuff when you consider the wines of DRC are among the most coveted for collectors, and among the priciest in the world.

Another aspect of the film that I appreciated was how balanced Wise was when it came to wine critics and scores. He interviewed sommeliers on both sides of the issue.

As I see, the main take away from the film is sommeliers’ perspective on wine and the gift they have to offer: the story.

When sommeliers come across delicious wine, what they care most about is the story behind it. Sommeliers don’t just want to serve wine; they want to tell diners the story in the bottle and take them back to the circumstances of the vintage, the vineyard, the winemaker’s feat.

If we’re wise, we’ll take time to listen to their stories.

See the trailer here:

Check out photos of all the film fest happenings here