“If anyone orders Merlot, I’m leaving, I am NOT drinking any (expletive) Merlot!” — the single line dialogue in the movie named “Sideways”, dealt a near death blow to Merlot.
“Sideways” – and to put it upfront – if you’ve not heard that name, you are NOT a wine lover, is a wine themed movie, admired by critics and a box office hit.
As the film completes 14 years today (it was released on 12th Oct 2004), its impact on the California wine industry seems to continue. The movie was especially beneficial for Pinot Noir wines, which are so highly praised in the movie. Meanwhile, some believe the dialogue mentioned gave an unfair deal to Merlot whose sales plumetted.
Not mere rhetoric but this is backed by research too wherein an A.C. Nielsen analysis showed Pinot Noir hitting record levels, up 16% in the months after Sideways.
In the wine tempest that followed, director of the movie, Alexander Payne (who admited to being a Merlot fan) recalls receiving a magnum of Trefethen Merlot. The accompanying note read, ‘Dear Alexander Payne. I’ll bet Miles and Jack (characters in the film) never tried Trefethen Merlot.
That was such a lovely gesture,” said Payne. “I have been a fan ever since.”
Watch the movie trailer (2.25 mins)here https://youtu.be/Pqbz8yojxBY
Are you a Merlot fan or you prefer Pinot Noir ?
(Anyone who’s seen the movie may please add views)