I haven’t had time to watch this film yet but the trailer is absolutely inspiring.
Of all the things you might imagine refugees trying their hand at, becoming a sommelier would not be the first thing to come to mind. Yet these four Zimbabwean refugees, teetotalers in their economically devastated native country, independently face the harrowing crossing into South Africa, get jobs in restaurants where they discover the charms of wine, become friends, hire a coach, and become the first Zimbabwe team to compete in the World Wine Blind Tasting Championships—the Olympics of the wine world held annually in France.
It’s widely acknowledged that wine has a diversity problem and sommeliers have an image problem.
Hopefully, this film will go some distance to rectifying both. I doubt these guys will fit the stereotype of snooty, know-it-all, and they will help erode the toxic assumption that wine is a “white folks” thing.
It’s not currently available on Netflix but can be streamed in the U.S. as part of the Tribeca Film Festival for $15 through June 23.
Passion properly directed is a wonderful thing. It’s remarkable how a passion for wine can change people’s lives.