Wine Spectator Pops Cork On Film Fest Competition

By Marilyn LaRocque
Do you love wine and also think you’re a hot shot with a videocam? Then put your passion and prowess to the test by competing in the Seventh Annual Wine Spectator Video Contest for the chance to see you film on the internet, at the world-class Wine Spectator Wine Experience in New York City, and at the Napa Valley Film Festival. Both solo shooters and groups are eligible to compete by submitting original wine-themed films—up to three minutes in length. Start rolling tape soon because the deadline is September 2. It’s not Hollywood…but remember, Francis Ford Coppola owns a famous Napa winery!

Actress Melanie Lynskey being interviewed at the 2012 NVFF. PHOTO CREDIT: Photo by Randall Michelson.

After the Wine Spectator crew picks and posts the finalists’ movies on, the public votes. Prizes are:
• For all valid entries—a six-month, full-access membership to Current members will receive an extension of their membership. There is only one entry prize per participant;
• For finalists—a pair of tickets to one of the Grand Tastings at Wine Spectator’s Wine Experience in New York City on October 24 or 25. Those unable to make these dates may attend any one of the 2014 Grand Tour Tastings. Dates and cities TBA. FYI… The Wine Experience Grand Tastings
on October 24 and 25 will highlight more than 250 great international wineries/châteaux, all pouring vintages that scored 90 points or above on the Wine Spectator 100-point scale;
• For the winner of the Grand Prize—two tickets to the priceless Wine Spectator New York Wine Experience, October 24-26, AND two passes to the Napa Valley Film Festival, November 13-17, PLUS the showing of their film at both the Wine Experience and NVFF.
“Our annual video contest provides an excellent vehicle for making learning about wine an enriching, as well as engaging, experience,” said Thomas Matthews, Executive Editor, Wine Spectator. “plus it’s a fun opportunity to interact with the wider wine-loving community. This educational exchange is far from a one-way conversation. We gain fresh insights by seeing things from others’ perspectives.”

Director Jason Wise, SOMM, (speaking) and, to his left, the subjects of his documentary—the four Master Sommeliers of the film—D'Lynne Proctor, Ian Cauble, Dustin Wilson, and Brian McClintic (left to right)—join NVFF Co-Founder/Director Marc Lhormer (far left) for a Q&A after the World Premiere Screening of SOMM in 2012. PHOTO CREDIT: Photo by Randall Michelson.

Entrants’ imaginations are the only limits when it comes to storyline, with potential subjects spanning wine’s wide spectrum—from industry leader interviews to wine tours, favorite wine-paired recipes to grape-centered journeys. Videos should be “educational, engaging and entertaining rather than self-promotional.” All participants, whether on camera or behind-the-scenes, must be at least 21 years old.
Wine Spectator editors will select their top video picks from among the submissions received by September 2. Finalist videos will be posted at on September 9. From then until September 16, the public can vote for their favorite on Second- and third-place videos will be unveiled on September 16 at Grand prize winner and honorable mentions will be posted September 17.

Great wines and happy imbibers at The Wine Experience.PHOTO CREDIT: Photo courtesy of the Wine Spectator.

Entries must be no larger than 500MB and saved as an mpeg, mov or avi file. Those looking for some inspiration and examples can view last year’s winner and finalists. The contest’s rules and entry form are available at: General contest questions can be addressed to
Wine Spectator is a sponsor of the Napa Valley Film Festival, now celebrating its third year. “The Napa Valley Film Festival ( celebrates the power of cinematic storytelling and promotes the arts and culture in this spectacular destination that’s famous for the world’s best food and wine,” said Brenda Lhormer, Co-Founder and Director, Napa Valley Film Festival. “Our great synergy with Wine Spectator allows us to bring together the best of both of our worlds.”

A panel of distinguished wine experts leads a tasting at The Wine Experience.PHOTO CREDIT: Photo courtesy of the Wine Spectator.

Food, wine, and travel writer/editor Marilyn LaRocque has visited the seven continents, experiencing not only sights and sounds but also foods and wines. In Paris in May, she was named Vice Chargée de Presse Nationale, Des Etats Unis, of Les Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, the world’s oldest and largest food and wine society. She was Senior Food & Wine Editor for LUXURY Las Vegas magazine for nearly 10 years and immersed herself in the cuisine scene in this over-the-top city. She knows and has written about celebrity chefs, their restaurants, and food and reported dining trends not only in Las Vegas but throughout the world, from South Africa to Scandinavia, New Zealand to South America. She knows master sommeliers and mixologists and has written extensively about wines and spirits, particularly California, as well as Oregon, Virginia, and Kentucky (Bourbon) and Tennessee (Whiskey). She has dined at globally celebrated restaurants such as Taillevent (Paris), Noma (Copenhagen), Restaurant Gordon Ramsay (London), Per Se (New York), and French Laundry (Yountville). She has served as a judge in culinary competitions, been guest lecturer at Le Cordon Bleu, Las Vegas, and served as PR consultant for the 2012 UNLVino, Nevada’s oldest and largest wine event. Photo by Jim K. Dekker