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Certified sommelier and Park City Wine Club President Pamela Wood has organized a screening of the comedy-drama "Bottle Shock" at the Egyptian Theatre next Thursday. The film, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2008, tells the tale of the 1976 "Judgment of Paris," where two California wines won blind taste tests in an international competition. (Photo courtesy of Pamela Wood)
Midway resident Pamela Wood formed the Park City Wine Club last July because she wanted to use her skills as a certified wine sommelier to not only share the joy of wines, but also to give something back to the community.

"Working in the food and beverage industry just didn't appeal tome, but the idea of setting up a wine club did," Wood said during an interview with The Park Record.

In eight months, the club's membership has reached more than 240 and is growing every day.

Anyone 21 and older can visit www.parkcitywineclub.com and join for $25 per person, Wood said.

To celebrate, the Park City Wine Club is hosting a film event featuring a screening of the 2008 film "Bottle Shock," at the Egyptian Theatre on Thursday, March 28. Admission is $10 and 100 percent of the proceeds will benefit the Egyptian Theatre.

"Bottle Shock" is a comedy-drama directed by Randall Miller and starring Alan Rickman and Chris Pine, recounts what the worldwide wine community dubbed the "Judgment of Paris" in 1976 where California wines defeated French wines in blind taste tests.

"In order to become a sommelier, you have to understand French history, and the Judgment of 1976 was a big part of that history," Wood said. "It didn't make the French too happy when the California wines Montelena Chardonnay and the Stags Leap Cabernet Sauvignon won in blind tastings in every category for both white and red wines.

"So this is a pretty big part of wine history, and it's what put California, as well as the United States, on the map as being a recognized, worldwide competitive winemaker," Wood said. "In fact, the contest was repeated in 2006 and the California wines won again."

"Bottle Shock" made its debut at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and screened in the Egyptian Theatre, so it was a bit serendipitous when Wood met the film's producers, Marc and Brenda Lhormer, during this year's Sundance Film Festival.

"Marc and Brenda are the founders of the Napa Valley Film Festival in California," Wood said. "During one of our discussions, I found out they were the producers of 'Bottle Shock,' and I thought it would be a nice idea to screen the film in Park City again and raise money for the Egyptian Theatre.

"I also thought it would be great if Brenda and Marc would be able to come out for the event," she said.

The Lhormers will introduce "Bottle Shock" at the March 28 screening and will hold a question-and-answer session at the conclusion of the film.

"The Park City Wine Club has been growing at a rapid pace and I keep trying to find new and exciting venues to keep the members entertained as well as give back to the community," Wood said.

When planning the "Bottle Shock" event, Wood feared she bit off more than she could chew.

"I couldn't have done this without the help of Sally Roberts of Re/Max Realty and Martin Worley, a financial planner in Salt Lake City and three additional private individuals who helped with the cost of bringing in the Lhormers for the event," Wood said. "The event is a big feather in the cap for the Park City Wine Club that says we're not going anywhere and we're here to also support the community and have fun doing it."

There will be opportunity drawings held before the screening.

"We have prizes donated to us through various businesses," Wood said. "One of the prizes is a copy of the film."

Wood hopes this and other future events will help people see the Park City Wine Club is a viable organization.

"When I established the club, I went through six months of figuring out how to stay within the legal boundaries in Utah," Wood explained. "The big thing is that even though we're a club that celebrates wine, we do not sell it.

"The wine that we offer at the tastings is predetermined by me, and the guests don't get to choose," she said. "We also pair the wines with food from a local restaurant in town that may not order these wines, and we don't pour too much or too less during these tastings."

Wood said the club is required to be membership based because it meets in Utah. 

"That means any event I hold that features wine tastings cannot be open to the public; they have to be held within a social membership organization," Wood explained.

Still, after jumping through the hoops, Wood has found that people are starting to realize the club isn't only real but also has something to offer.

"In addition to meeting the Lhormers, I've met other vintners from Napa Valley and Oregon who want me to bring tours to their regions," Wood said. "The Park City Wine Club is opening new doors and creating new opportunities for wine lovers. We have a lot of them in Utah, but they don't always know what they are loving."

The Park City Wine Club will host a screening of "Bottle Shock" at the Egyptian Theatre, 328 Main St., on Thursday, March 28, at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $10. Tickets can be purchased by visiting www.parkcityshows.com. For more information about the Park City Wine Club, visit www.parkcitywineclub.com.