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The “Sideways” Effect

It was a few days before my 21st birthday and I had a day off from work and school. I decided to rent a movie. I picked up Sideways and thought, sure, this is critically acclaimed and sounds funny.


Little did I know, this movie would change me forever. I was about to finish my Culinary Arts Degree from Joliet Junior College. Working in kitchens throughout my high school and college years, wine was just an afterthought. Not after viewing Sideways.


Jack and Miles make their way to Sanford. Miles is swirling a glass of rose, and he shoves his nose into it. He starts listing off strawberry, asparagus, nutty Edam cheese… I was confused and intrigued. I had no idea there was an analytical side to wine. I thought it was just a drink usually enjoyed with a meal.

Later on in the movie, the monologue that Maya gives about the life of wine basically made me become a wine nut at age 20. At 10 in the morning on my 21st birthday, I was in my local wine store buying wine.
After learning about wine, yeah the movie is a bit hypocritical and is basically free advertising for Pinot Noir, but it changed my life and career path.


With Pinot becoming “the new Merlot,” there are a lot out there, now.  I set out to find the best one under $20.  Macmurray Ranch from the Central Coast in California is one of my favorites.  It’s well priced, fruity and food friendly.  Under $10 is tough for a bottle of Pinot Noir.  An unlikely source produces a great one. Gunther Schlink from Germany runs $8.99 and is a sure winner for a value red.


If you saw Sideways, how did it effect your wine hobbies?

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