Uncorked: Is it fancy because it has cursive on it?

Prentice Penny directs all Black Cast in a family dramedy and gives us a glimpse into the world of becoming a Master Sommelier.

Elijah ( Mamoudou Athie ) sits for the Master Sommelier Exam. Courtesy of Netflix

A Glimpse into the world of a Master Sommelier

Full Disclosure: I don’t like movie trailers. I think they are unbearably excessive and entirely too revealing. Many times, the trailer features highlights of the entire movie, compressed together like spam. I am NOT a fan. If I watch a trailer and realize I want to watch the film, I will stop watching the trailer, cover my eyes, and plug my ears until the trailer is over. Sometimes, I will hum a ditty to drown out the sound. Yes, I know I have some serious issues. I want to be surprised!!

Obviously, over the last few days, our world has changed entirely. We are living under the quarantine, and looming dangers of Rona continue to reak havoc on the planet. We are confined to our homes, so I found myself looking through my Netflix line up.

Courtesy of IMBD

I’ve been hearing of the Uncorked movie for months now. I was very successful in avoiding all trailers, detailed social media posts, or news articles about this movie. I was very successful until the other day. The trailer popped up within my Netflix auto-feed, and I was not quick enough to scroll past. I started to watch, and by the end of the trailer, my face was wet. Was I crying? “There’s no crying in baseball!” But when I watched the trailer, I felt that warmth.

The kind of warmth that encompassing your whole body. It kind of feels like falling in love. The heat is a god-like experience, reminding me of love and rightness. A constant and satisfying feeling of knowing…it is almost grounding. I call it spiritual warmth. My body hums with awareness. I felt this at the end of the trailer, along with the tears. It might have been the wine too, but I digress.

Prentice Penny (HBO’s Insecure | The Untamed ) makes his directorial debut, as well as writer and producer, of Uncorked. Uncorked is a father and son story loosely based on Mr. Penny’s relationship with his father. “Men of color father-son stories are usually about the father being absent and that being the source of conflict, as opposed to them just figuring it out like men,” Penny said. “I wanted a film that felt more like that.” The core portion of this movie is about relationships. The backdrops are wine and food culture.

The film revolves around Elijah (Mamoudou Athie), who must find a way to balance his dream of becoming a master sommelier with his father’s expectations for him to carry on the family’s popular Memphis barbeque joint. Emmy Winner Courtney B. Vance and Emmy Nominated Niecy Nash play his parents in the movie. I have been watching Niecy Nash since Clean House when she used to rock those flowers in her hair!!! ( TLC )

There is a line in the movie where JT (brother Bernard David Jones ) says, “the cursive makes it look fancy.” I loved how he took this line from the show ( Upscale Tru TV ) and incorporated it into the movie. Penny showcases his thoughtfulness and unabashed love for his projects. Filmmaking is not a job for him. His enthusiasm and passion for storytelling are genuine. This passion is reflected in his writing. Each project shows a polish that was kind of already there. You can see the growth of each project. I like the swag. The ballsy yet polished bougie blackness of it all. Mr. Penny seems to be is a cross between a blerd, mixed with Cali fresh, and mogul in the making. He is a family man who likes nice shyt!! But above all, he is curious as hell.

“Blessed are the curious, for they shall have adventures.” Anonymous

The movie has a powerhouse of players behind the camera. I am a semi movie nerd. I like to read the production cast lists. I was pleased to see some of my favorites attached to this project. Tony Parker ( NBA Player and producer), Drew Brees ( Football Player and producer), Chris Pollack ( Executive Producer ), and Elliot Davis (Cinematographer). Mr. Davis is a well-renowned Cinematographer, and Director of Photography has an incredible eye for saturation and color. I am fascinated by his handheld action scenes. His work on Birth of a Nation and Twilight is award-worthy, and I am fascinated by his handheld action scenes. Hit-Boy (Drake and Jay Z) is the music composer and soundtrack producer. The soundtrack will be on repeat throughout this summer.

IG, not my picture Left — Prentice Penny, Middle — Datari Turner Right — D Lynn Proctor

Datari Turner’s executive producer of the Growing Up Hip Hop Franchise and principal of The Black House Foundation also serves as a producer for this film. Mr. Turner is a six-time Sundance participant and filmmaker. He says here, “It’s loosely inspired by my younger brother’s life who is a Master Sommelier.” His brother is the one and only D LYNN PROCTOR! ( my lips are pressed together like come THRU FAMILY TREE )

Mr. Proctor coached Athie to prepare for the movie. He is currently the Wine Director and Sommelier of Fantesca Winery. He is also known for the SOMM Trilogy and can be seen on SOMM TV. Mr. Proctor is an associate producer for this film. Mr. Proctor and Mr. Penny met while filming for Upscale on Tru Tv. The show was executive produced by Mr. Penny. One could only assume that their relationship flourished. There is a scene in the trailer where Elijah’s friend ( Matt Gorey )or a potential rival are spouting off wine tasting profiles. Wine Battle at its finest! My blood gets warm during this scene. Full and complete wine LOVE. I was like YOU BETTER CALL OUT THOSE WINE PROFILES!! If the real world only knew how hard and BADASS this scene is. The scene reminds me of one of my posts. This scene is D LYNN all-day (See here ) Expert level shyt! Watch Penny take a line from a real-life episode with D Lynn Proctor. Check it out the scene here.

Not my picture: L to R Chris Pollack, Prentice Penny, Ashley Holland, D Lynn Proctor, and Datari Turner in 2018

You know, my mother might genuinely understand what I do. Sure there are other wine movies out there. This one is different. It is very emotional for me for obvious reasons. No one can tell a story about the black culture the way another black person can. Black people, wine culture, family, and the pursuit of your dreams. DREAM BIG FOLKS.

I cannot wait to see this movie. Uncorked debuts on 3/27/2020 on Netflix. I will participate within Netflix Watch Parties, in full makeup, and my outfit!! I will be sipping on something sparkly.

March is my birthday month. I could not think of a better way to celebrate. Thank you, Mr. Penny, and to your entire team! You have no idea how much this movie will do for our industry. How many people will be inspired? I sobbed during this whole article. The feeling of pride is strong in this one!

This movie IS personal. It FEELS personal. I am so proud to be black. I am so pleased to be a sommelier and work within this industry. I am so proud of the life wine has afforded me. Food and wine are the true healers of the world. My folks, my passion, the hip hop, our swag, we fly. Can you feel the love? My dream of opening a full-service wine school has solidified. One day, people will come to my school and find out yes, “It is a little fancy if it has cursive on it!”

See yall tomorrow! Let me get some rest!!

Cheers Winos!!

Maia Parish is a certified sommelier, wine judge, and entrepreneur. She lives in Denver, is an opinionated foodie, mother to Ms. Ross, and lover of all things Marvel Comics, Star Wars, and Star Trek!! She has a passion for hip hop, caviar, wine farming, and tiny houses. Food and wine are my soulmates.

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