Thursday, April 06, 2006

Miles, Step away from the Pinot Noir and taste these Merlots!

As long as wine-drinking people talk enthusiastically about the film Sideways, I will add my persnickety rant to the conversation. Oh, the film was fine -- very good, in fact. The acting and writing, in particular, were terrific. The scene in which the character Maya describes why she likes wine, older vintages in particular, should be iconic among wine lovers. But... for a movie to impact percentages of wine sales, well, that says a lot, I think, about how people will believe just about anything and use it as a basis for their shopping decisions. As you will recall from the movie, the character Miles Raymond, played by Paul Giamatti, loves Pinot Noir to the point of worship. And he dislikes -- loathes, even -- Merlot! As a result of the film's popularity, Pinot sales in the United States soared and Merlot sales dropped substantially. But the film is fiction! It's a story. Miles doesn't even exist!

In the March/April issue of Northwest Palate, the magazine reviewed some of Washington state's best Merlot, that "...even Miles would love." Out of the standout four Merlots mentioned in the story, three were produced in the Walla Walla Valley: Canoe Ridge Vineyard 2002 , Northstar Winery 2003, and Leonetti Cellar 2003.

If Miles Raymond ever turns down a bottle of Leonetti Merlot, he's definitely a fictional character.

2 comments:

Tom said...

Poor Miles!!

He really did a job on Merlot didn't he. He should have qualified is "No F'n Merlot" statement with "No, F'n Merlot with just the "California" appellation on it".

The Leonetti is the wine that convinced me that WA could be ethereal.

Great post.
Tom

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