Posts in Category: England

Goal!: The Dream Begins Is the Most Inspiring and Best Film of Lawrence Bender’s Career

Bend It Like Beckham may get all the headlines, but as far as pure, unadulterated soccer films go, there’s no better one than Goal!: The Dream Begins. Goal!: The Dream Begins was produced by Lawrence Bender, the man behind such legendary Hollywood films as Inglourious Basterds, Good Will Hunting, Kill Bill: Vol. 1 and 2, An Inconvenient Truth, Jackie Brown, Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. Born in 1957 in New York City’s world-famous borough the Bronx, Lawrence Bender has made a career out of having an eye for great stories and ensuring that they lose nothing during the transition from page to screen. As such, and especially considering Bender’s resume, one of the best compliments I can give Goal!: The Dream Begins is to say that Lawrence Bender’s work on the film is one of the best examples of his skills as a producer to date.

Goal!: The Dream Begins is a story about a young Mexican American named Santiago Munez who is plucked from obscurity and his modest upbringing in Los Angeles and thrust into the middle of the world of professional soccer in England after a British scout discovers him. Over the course of his first season as a professional footballer, we witness Santiago’s struggles and triumphs as he transitions from following his dreams to facing the reality of what a dream come true actually looks like in the real world.

What makes Goal!: The Dream Begins so special is its ability to perfectly balance the wide-eyed optimism of pursuing your dreams with the stark realism you will face as you struggle to face the consequences of making your dreams come true. It is an inspiring story but with the caveat that you should be careful what you wish for, because you might just get it. By that, I simply mean that Goal!: The Dream Begins doesn’t sugarcoat the realities of the life of a professional soccer player, which enables its message to hit home in a way that being too realistic or too optimistic would never allow.

That type of balanced storytelling is the reason Goal!: The Dream Begins is my favorite Lawrence Bender film. That’s saying quite a bit considering Bender has produced three films that have earned Academy Award nominations for Best Picture (Inglourious Basterds, Pulp Fiction, and Good Will Hunting). Despite the greatness of those films, I stand firmly by my belief that Goal!: The Dream Begins is the best movie Lawrence Bender has ever produced.

UK Wines: A Look at Top Producers

As wine consumers in Italy, France and Spain cut back their consumption in preference for other categories of drinks, globally, sales are being boosted by countries which are only recently embracing wine consumption as the norm.

The UK with about 500 vineyards spread across Wales and England, is a first-class wine-producing region. The wine producing zone covers some 4,500 acres, producing Still and Sparkling Wines. Welsh and English wines have over the years won many prestigious global awards.

Top UK Vintners

Anybody who is serious about assembling a fine wine collection cannot afford to overlook the splendid and diverse array of UK Vintners. These companies are producing some of the best wines in Europe with lots of them scooping major awards year after year. Wondering where to buy the top UK wines online? Click here.

Hush Heath Estate

Tucked away in the beautiful Kent countryside, the Hush Estate is known for producing one of the most exclusive and iconic English Sparkling Wines over the previous one decade. Hush estate is the home of the award winning Balfour Brut Rosé English Sparkling Wine. The estate employs traditional Champagne methods of wine production. Situated close to Staplehurst, Hush Estate also provides tutored wine tastings by winery experts as well as guided tours.

During the guided vineyards tours, visitors will learn about grape viticulture and enjoy a visit to the Hush Heath’s state of the art winery located within the premises where experts explain the process of wine making. The Hush Estate covers 400 acres of ancient oak woodland, apple orchards, and perfectly manicured vineyards.

Related: Know Your Grapes: Characteristics & Flavors

Bolney Estate

Bolney Estate in West Sussex has been making wine since 1976 although there were vines grown on this estate from the days of the Domesday Book. It wasn’t, however, until the early 1970s when the Estate was revitalized by Juliet Linter.

The goal of the estate is to produce top quality Sparkling, White, and Red English Wines, something they have achieved with considerable success and in the process winning lots of national and international awards.

Ridgeview Wine Estate

Ridgeview is dedicated to producing Sparkling Wine of the highest quality using traditional methods and a variety of grapes. Ridgeview’s devotion to winemaking and the vineyards has resulted in the estate becoming the proud winners of several global Sparkling Wine awards and trophies.

Nyetimber Estate

Nyetimber was previously a working farm, but in 1988, Stuart and Sandy Moss (the owners), opted to embrace wine-making. Located in West Sussex, it was the first vineyard in England to begin exclusively growing grapes coming from the Champagne region – Pinot Meunier, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir.

They specialize in Sparkling, White and Rose Wines. Blanc de Blancsfrom Nyetimber was awarded a Gold medal during the 2007 International Wine & Spirit Competition.


The English wine industry has in recent years grown in leaps and bounds. There is plenty of growth opportunity in the sector. Although in the years ahead, much of the growth among UK Vintners looks set to be spearheaded by Sparkling Wine, experts like the IWSR are predicting that Still Wine will also have its fair share of the glory.