Forgotten Man Films

In our series, Liquid Diet, a professional drinker journals every sip of one beverage-packed week. Here, filmmaker Jason Wise, director of the SOMM film series including SOMM 3, which just hit theaters, documents a week of imbibing that would make even Master Sommeliers jealous.

Jonathan Cristaldi
October 15, 2018
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The highly anticipated SOMM 3 hits theaters this week, and the filmmaker behind it, Jason Wise, divulges a week of imbibing, minute-by-minute—from bottomless Ruinart Champagne to sipping Matthiasson Rosé out of his 5-year-old’s plastic sippy cup.

Day One

6:30 a.m. On the way from L.A. to film sea otters in Big Sur for my next feature film The Delicacy, I pick up a latte with two shots from the Carmel Valley Roasting Company. So happy we found any delicious coffee out here, and it paired well with my microwave breakfast sandwich.

2:30 p.m. Shoot was intense, major construction on the Pacific Coast Highway in Big Sur had us in a salad shooter. Lunch: drinking a Modelo after a long shoot with a sea otter specialist and enjoying some grilled ham and cheese.

4:15 p.m. Driving fast, maybe too fast, down the PCH to San Simeon to film baby elephant seals while there is still light—drinking half a Stumptown Cold Brew that my cinematographer Jackson threw in the film cooler but forgot he had. Jackson has saved the day. It tastes a lot like the can it came in, but I’m not complaining.

6:50 p.m. Leaving Morrow Bay, barely made the sunset to film baby sea otters but madeit.  Drinking the other half of the Stumptown cold brew. Still tastes like an aluminum can, still great.

10:14 p.m. Back home in Los Angeles. I am tired, and I am now drinking a glass of Matthiasson Rosé, which my wife brought in a plastic cup my 5-year-old normally uses for milk—don’t judge me. It is one of my favorite rosés because the winemaker, Steve Matthiasson, is one of my favorite people and because it is f-ing great. I’m tired in my bones but have to
output my final screening version of SOMM 3 for the press screenings and premiere in NYC.

Day Two

6:00 a.m. On my way to LAX. Grocery store brand cold brew in a pink plastic cup (it’s the only one that fits in my stupid cup holder). Heading to NYC for the first screenings of SOMM 3. These kinds of trips take 10 years from my life, but luckily, I already feel 90.

11:00 a.m. This flight is long, I am supposed to be writing voice over. Just drink bottled water that is offered on the flight.

7.30 p.m. Heading into Manhattan in an Uber, it’s pissing down with rain and sitting in back-to-back traffic—just asked the Uber driver to make a detour to Aldo Sohm Wine Bar to meet with my executive producer Diane about the upcoming premieres. Greeted with a glass of Champagne Chartogne-Taillet, awesome truffle pasta, short ribs, and cheese. Aldo is
pouring his 2015 Sohm & Kracher Grüner Veltliner and a 2016 Lingua-Franca Avni Pinot Noir from Eola-Amity Hills in Oregon. Aldo is as usual on fire and so excited about all sorts of wine, this guy is the best.

10:45 p.m. Brian McClintic MS and Dustin Wilson MS have decided to go to Dustin’s wine shop Verve Wines in Tribeca to blind taste and drink. They want me to go—I will not survive the night. I walk in and am taken to the ground by McClintic, he seems sober. They hand me a blind wine but accidentally left the bottle right in front of me. It is a 2000 Domaine Auguste Clape Cornas, which is fantastic and I nailed it, because again, the label is looking right at me. My wife who wrote and produced the SOMM films has landed and comes straight from the airport. She walks into chaos. My notes are blurry but we drank: 2015 Dauvissat Chablis, 2015 Roulot Aligoté, and 2015 Suertes del Marqués El Ciruelo—all blind. Dustin orders
Domino's pizza, if he hadn’t done this we would have died—thanks buddy. Bedtime: 3:30 a.m.

Day Three

10:00 a.m. NYC breakfast is popcorn and Rene et Vincent Dauvissat Séchet Premier Cru Chablis. 

12:00 p.m. All morning setting up the projector for our press and VIP screenings at Corkbuzz wine bar near Union Square. I have just 15 minutes for a Croque Monsieur, coffee and Ruinart Champagne at Corkbuzz. More Ruinart, more Ruinart, more Ruinart. ​​​​​​

6:00 p.m. Guests start arriving at CorkBuzz for a SommFoundation event. More Ruinart, popcorn, screening, and we drink 2015 Fantesca Chardonnay from Russian River Valley, Rene et Vincent Dauvissat Séchet Premier Cru Chablis from the 2013 vintage paired with baked scallop. Seasonal mushrooms with 2014 Marquis d’Angerville Fremiets Premier Cru Volnay.  Herbs de Provence-rubbed skate wing paired with 2014 Domaine de la Cote Bloom’s Field Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir.
Braised short ribs are paired with a 2015 Cabernet Franc from Chappallet Napa Valley, and we also pop a 2015 Clos du Val Cabernet  Sauvignon, a 2014 Hirondelle, and a 2011 Fantesca “All Great Things.” We enjoy a 1977 Sandeman Vintage Port with fresh figs. Wine collector Andy Wang brought a 1966 Charles Krug Cabernet Sauvignon and 1970 Heitz Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon. Ended the evening with 1997 Luciano Sandrone Barolo Cannubi Boschis, 1996 Vega Sicilia, and 1990 Krug Champagne. I have talked to so many incredible people, screening was great. I feel like I just attended three of my own weddings, but people really liked the film.

Midnight to 3:00 a.m. I am at some dive bar drinking Guinness with Dustin Wilson and my wife. This place smells like a dead cat, but the beer is good.

4.45 a.m. Two McDonald’s cheeseburgers, fries, and a Dasani bottled water. I hate myself and need a friend.

Day Four

10:00 a.m. This day begins with hotel tap water. I feel like I had a drinking contest with Dennis Hopper and won.

11.30 a.m. Matinee screening at Corkbuzz. Coffee, banana, Ruinart Champagne, which has saved me.

2.30 p.m. First matinee complete, headed to Union Square Cafe for lunch. Duck fat tater tots, half a burger paired with a Pilsner and water.

3.30 p.m. Corkbuzz second screening. Ruinart, Ruinart, Ruinart while pacing back and forth, lots of laughs at the right places—SOMM 3 film is killing it. I host a Q&A for 75 people which is the max capacity in the space, and it’s electric with DLynn Proctor MS, Sabato Sagaria MS, Dustin Wilson MS, Jay James MS, and my wife, Christina Wise. Funniest Q&A we have ever had—we are all hungover as hell.

5.30 p.m. Post-screening blind tasting: Sonoma Hillside Syrah, 1998 Monte Real Rioja, 2015 Fantesca Chardonnay, 2015 Hirsch Grüner Veltliner, 2013 Vosne-Romanée, 2015 Condrieu, 2014 Clos du Val Cabernet, 2011 Fantesca All Great Things. 

8:00 p.m. Dinner at Existing Conditions in Greenwich Village—the worst service I have ever had in NYC, but cocktails made up for it. Gin and Fino Sherry. Fried bar food. Bed at 1:30 a.m.

Day Five

9:00 a.m. Up and out for a press briefing about SOMM 3. Two cups of hotel lobby coffee. Off to have mezcal margaritas and tacos. I think this week looks like Jim Morrison’s the week before he died. Getting ready to do press and prep for the official SOMM 3 NYC premiere at the Metrograph—please send an IV and and an orange juice.

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