Winelander – February 26, 2021

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Dear readers, we had a gathering of friends the other night and Helena who is a confirmed Merlot drinker complete with a glass full of ice has not yet seen the film “Sideways” so it seemed appropriate to repeat this article from a couple of years ago and I have to warn you that I am about to use some rather choice language below but those of you that have seen the film “Sideways” will probably have a good chuckle if you haven’t seen it and have access to Netflix you may find it on there.

For those that haven’t seen the film let me give a brief outline of the film which was released in 2004 and was a surprise hit creating a cult following, but was also responsible for the tragic outcome for one particular grape variety.The film is about two completely mismatched friends taking a week visiting a wine region in California about 30 minutes north of Santa Barbara. One of the friends is getting married at the end of the week and is determined to go out with a bang if you get my drift, the other guy (played excellently by Paul Giamatti) is a depressed wine snob who basically is happy when he has had too much to drink and just wants to visit wineries. At one of the wineries they chat to the girl behind the counter and the first guy makes a date for her and her girlfriend to go to dinner with the pair of them but knows Giamatti will probably drink too much and ruin the evening. As they reach the restaurant he pulls him into an alley at the front door of the restaurant and basically says to slow down and whatever the girl’s order that’s what they drink. Giamatti replies “if anybody orders Merlot, I’m leaving” and goes on “I am not drinking any f***ing Merlot”!