MONDOVINO (Jonathan Nossiter). 135 minutes. Opens Friday (May 26). For venues and times, see Movies, page 97. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
The Liquor Control Board of Ontario is the largest single buyer of wine in the world. If you find your favourite bottle as soon as you walk into the store, that means your taste fits the global marketplace. If you can't find it at all, you have a friend in Jonathan Nossiter.
Nossiter's Mondovino is a passionate, globe-trotting defence of everything the LCBO isn't. Taking the current wine industry as an index of globalization, he travels the world talking to conglomerates, artisanal vintners and family concerns that turn grapes into such tasty troublemakers. The players here include "flying winemaker" Michel Rolland, who proudly homogenizes wine styles, and American wine critic Robert Parker, who names Ralph Nader as an influence.
Besides his career as an indie fiction filmmaker (Signs And Wonders), Nossiter is a trained sommelier who's crafted wine lists for some of New York's best restaurants. He also speaks six languages, which helps him skip from France to California to Brazil, turning a deliberately restless camera on the wine world's Godfather politics and billion-dollar stakes.
If Sideways whetted your palate, chances are you could drink a case of Mondovino.