If there's any movie genre that begs for a real-world tie-in, it's wine-themed films. Who wants to watch people swirling glasses of deliciousness and not get to taste any of it?
That's the driving force behind a new wine-and-film festival happening in Santa Barbara, California between February 14 and March 2. Organizer Wil Fernandez is screening both feature-length and short films in multiple locations over the three-week period and simultaneously serving wine from the producers featured onscreen.
You might be wondering how a festival could fill a lineup with wine-themed films. Well, the criteria are a bit broad: These are not movie premieres, but the films must have been produced in the last two years. Here's the lineup:
On February 14, the festival kicks off with a date-night-themed dinner at Larner Vineyard in Solvang. Open to couples only—two-top tables cost $250 per pair—the night includes a screening of Somm: Into the Bottle (see our interview with the filmmaker) and a multi-course dinner prepared by Argentine chef Diego Felix. Proceeds go to the Allan Hancock Viticulture Program Scholarship.
On February 20, there's an afternoon tasting and screening at Grassini Vineyard. For $45 a person, guests can catch two episodes of "Plonk," a mockumentary-style Australian TV series that follows a fumbling crew as they attempt to produce a show about wine. Wines from about 10 producers will pair with appetizers by chef Adam Measurall of the Far Western Tavern.
On March 2, filmmakers will join winemakers at Presqu'ile Winery from 5:30 to 7:30pm to view short films such as "The Legacy of Jackass Hill" and "Vintage 2015: Harvest at Presqu'ile." Guests can sample the wines shown on the big screen.
And if you can't make it to the live events, know that the the fest will host a free Twitter "screening and simutasting" on February 17 5:30 p.m. PT. They'll be linking to four short films, but B.Y.O.B.