Taste (Bleepin’) Merlot on the 10th Anniversary of ‘Sideways’

Red_Wine_and_GrapesHard to believe, but it has been 10 years since the movie Sideways turned the wine industry on its ear, briefly derailing sales of Merlot and provoking widespread planting of Pinot Noir vines.

As fans of the movie will recall, the character played by Paul Giamatti, Miles, waxed poetic about Pinot Noir. But, to put it mildly, he was not a fan of Merlot, at one point declaring, “If anyone orders Merlot, I’m leaving. I am NOT drinking any (expletive) Merlot!”

Well, since the movie was shot in and around the Solvang area in Santa Barbara County’s Santz Ynez Valley, the Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau has decided to give locally produced Merlot its moment in the sun — and it’s using the 10th anniversary of the release of “Sideways” for an “excuse.”

For three hours on the afternoon of Saturday, Sept. 13, a “Merlot Taste-Off” will be held in the garden courtyard of the Solvang Festival Theater. Guests will have an opportunity to sample a number of Merlots and nosh on gourmet appetizers prepared by local restaurants. The cost is $65 per person, and proceeds will benefit the not-for-profit Solvang Festival Theater, now in its fifth decade as the local mecca for the performing arts.

Participating wineries confirmed thus far include:

If you’re a long-time Vinesse wine club or Cyber Circle member, you no doubt recognize several of those wineries, as they’ve been featured by Vinesse in the past.

Tickets for the “Merlot Taste-Off” may be available at the door, and if they are, they’ll cost $10 more. But I believe in better safe than sorry, so I suggest obtaining tickets in advance here.

If you can’t make it, you can celebrate at home with this collection of easy-drinking Merlot curated from the Alexander Valley and the Bordeaux region of France.

To paraphrase Miles, you’ll have a bleepin’ good time.

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One comment on “Taste (Bleepin’) Merlot on the 10th Anniversary of ‘Sideways’
  1. […] Taste (Bleepin’) Merlot on the 10th Anniversary of ‘Sideways’ […]

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