West Coast Wine Country

Best Wine Videos

There’s a distinct global flavor to the Wine Spectator video contest that gives this collection almost an indie film-like quality – much like you’d see at a film festival like Cinequest or Mill Valley.

Best Wine Videos - Stark Insider

A scene from “Sound of Wine” one of nine finalists for Wine Spectator’s best wine video contest.

Voting for Wine Spectator’s best wine video contest is now open. I took a quick look at the nine finalists and was floored by the outpouring of creativity, overwhelming entertainment factor. I applaud the filmmakers’ ability to wring emotion from a topic that usually falls into cliche (violin-based soundtrack with subject(s) skipping through the vineyard) or boredom (wine-making process deconstructed in super slo-mo, extended cut). I’ve been producing Stark Insider video features for almost four years now and have come to appreciate what it takes to tell a compelling story focused on the subject of wine (we’re slowly improving, but have a ways to go).

WS does a good job with this contest. There’s a distinct global flavor that gives this video collection an almost indie-film-like quality – much like you’d see at a film festival like Cinequest or Mill Valley. And speaking of quality, it’s uniformly impressive. There’s no Stark shaky cam here, or overwrought music and random spinning at wineries. Instead, we get inspired story telling, sumptuous cinematography, and high-end audio production.

Luc Plissonneau’s “Like my Father” tells the story of a small boy, and life growing up on a small family-run estate in the Bordeaux Supérior. Charming.

Stark Insider Video Feature: Truffles in America

“Close to the Sky” features some of the best visuals of the bunch, taking us across the stunning landscape of Mendoza in Argentina.

“A Brief History of Merlot” is a clever ode to the rise and fall (thanks to Sideways and Pinot Noir) of the varietal that just wants a little respect.

Best Wine VideosWatch More Wine Videos

Wine country Wine Videos with host Loni Stark

And if you typically think of California, Italy and France when it comes to wine, “Winemaking in Thailand” may very well open your eyes.

MORE: Wine Videos on YouTube

My favorite, and the one that gets my vote for best wine video for this year, is “Sound of Wine.” There’s a Blue Man Group vibe to this one, that sees musicians playing wine instruments. No talking; just expression. It’s unexpected, and works beautifully.

The story continues with even more wine videos.

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Clinton Stark
Clint is based in San Francisco and has produced videos for Stark Insider since 2006. Film projects recently completed include short MORADO shot in the Baja, doc THE ART OF HALL WINES in Napa, and music video WRONG'S WHAT I DO BEST at the San Francisco Art Institute. He regularly writes about Canon DSLR and filmmaking. His Broadway features have garnered praise, including SHREK UNMASKED which is the most viewed BTS video for the musical on YouTube. In addition he's worked with DreamWorks, Disney on Ice, and Cirque du Soleil, among others. Interview highlights include James Franco, Gia Coppola, Colbie Caillat, Vincent Kartheiser, Dana Carvey, and Dany Boyle. Clint is a member of ATCA and covers the SF theater scene. He also writes about Napa and wine, and Silicon Valley news and trends. More: Clint's story...
  • Thomas Matthews

    Thanks for your comments! There’s a lot of passion and creativity in the world of wine, and we’re pleased to showcase it in this video contest. Wine in Thailand – who knew?

    Thomas Matthews
    executive editor
    Wine Spectator

    • http://www.starkinsider.com Clinton Stark

      Yes, I didn’t realize there was such a high level of quality wrt to wine videos. Even better, discovering previously untold stories. Truly inspiring.

  • Tina Term

    Thanks Thomas and Clinton!!! This is Tina, the co-producer of the Thai wine video. I studied with Master Sommelier Peter Neptune in his WSET diploma class. During our first class, he asked me, “Does your country, Thailand, make wine?”

    I set out to find the truth and came back with the answer, “YES! Against all odds, Thailand does make wine… Really good wine.” Then I made a small video to tell the story. That humble video has now made it to be a finalist in the Wine Spectator Awards!

    Thank you for the recognition! And I hope you all will consider casting your vote for us and support Thailand’s budding artisanal wine movement!

    • http://www.starkinsider.com Clinton Stark

      Tina, what a great story! I never knew that Thailand made wine, and really enjoyed watching your video. Just proves once again that wine is a never ending journey of learning, adventure.

      • Tina Term

        Clinton, the adventure gets even better! We are in the final stages of importing GranMonte wines to the U.S. And your ‘hood- the Bay Area- is getting it first! We would love to invite you to the unveiling, when it happens. Nothing firm at the moment. But we can keep you updated. Hopefully by November. We love your enthusiasm for new things!!!