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The movie “Sideways” is widely credited for creating the pinot noir boom. Today, pinot noir surpasses cabernet sauvignon production in America and the 2004 comedy is largely responsible. In the witty dialogue between the movie’s protagonists, two best friends, Miles and Jack, who embark on a week-long road trip through California wine country, the ultimate praise is bestowed on pinot noir, lauding it as the “holy grail” of wine. Ever since wine drinkers have never looked back and have been exponentially racking up bottles of pinot noir.
But this was supposed to be a blog post about chardonnay.
The witty dialogue is witty…well, because it is sprinkled with memorable barbs at other varietals. This was great for the dialogue but it was bad for merlot bearing the brunt of the trash talk. Merlot quote paraphrased from a scene in the movie: “No [effing] merlot for me. I’m leaving if anyone orders merlot.” (I would have Googled for the quote verbatim but this preface to my point as mentioned is over long for a blog post about chardonnay.)
Fortunately for merlot producers chardonnay was also a target for trash talk. When the protagonist, Miles visits a tasting room and encounters chardonnay he expresses that he hates the varietal because it is too popular and lacks any complexity. He goes on to say that most chardonnays are overly oaked, too buttery and taste the same.
It would be helpful to highlight how at the time of the movie’s release in 2004 wine snobbery was extremely prevalent. Preaching wine for the masses, Gary Vaynerchuk, did not tape his first YouTube wine tasting until 2006. Wine culture was stuffy. Affordable wine was available, ie wine under ten bucks. Sutter Home’s White Zinfandel was everywhere but if you wanted to read or talk about wine the culture was dominated by know-it-all somm’s who raised their noses at varietals popular among the masses like merlot and chardonnay. They were interested in Chenin Blanc or Bordeaux wines.
The movie was the equivalent of a tactical nuke landing on the arrogant wine world and its sommelier gatekeepers (not all somm’s are assholes, watch this interview from our Youtube show to meet one who isn’t). Guys like Gary Vaynerchuk started to appear and talk about wine like you would talk about football. Gary was notorious for saying this or that wine sucks and even using words like “poo” to describe the taste of minerality in wine. Washington State winemaker Charles Smith, a guest on Gary’s show, also started to lob bombs at the hubris of wine culture with an overall unconventional approach to making and selling wine.
So the attacks on merlot and chardonnay in the movie “Sideways” were not death knells on the varietals but engendered the beginning of the end of pretentiousness in wine culture. You may now raise your glasses of Rombauer chardonnay and Corvidae Rook merlot with pride.
The story begins in 2013 when Brazilian billionaire André Esteves and a group of investors took the reins of Argiano, a historic winery in Montalcino, from Countess Noemi Marone Cinzano and winemaker Hans Vinding-Diers. This change in ownership marked a strategic shift back to the roots of Brunello winemaking, fueled by a commitment to tradition and excellence.
The wine industry has undergone a remarkable transformation over the past two decades, with the emergence of the online wine shipping market playing a pivotal role. This evolution has brought unprecedented convenience to wine enthusiasts, changing the way we discover, purchase, and enjoy our favorite wines. In this blog, we'll explore inflection points, market capitalization, and forecast for the future of the online wine shipping industry.
So, you've heard it all before: Cabernet Sauvignon, the undisputed ruler of American vineyards and the wine world.
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Ownership details of the Trump Winery have undergone some changes over the years. According to legal notices on the winery's website, it suggests that the business is now Eric Trump's personal project, operating under the name "Eric Trump Wine Manufacturing LLC."
Meghan Markle's passion for fine wine is no secret, and one of her all-time favorites was Antinori's Tignanello. Tignanello is a highly regarded Italian red wine, known for its rich and complex flavors, and it served as a precursor to the Super Tuscan wines. Meghan's love for this wine went beyond the palate; it became a symbol of her appreciation for luxury, such as owning a personal helicopter like Piero Antinori, the patriarch of Marchesi Antinori and the maker of Tignanello.
But what made the Cabrera gift stand out was how it diverged from the norm of players often being gifted Rolex watches from teams and teammates. But Cabrera plays for the Tigers so it is likely that his team will be gifting the legend something more befitting of his stature in baseball history. As for the bottle of Caymus he likely left in the opposing team's dugout after the game, here's hoping it finds its way back to the individual in the Athletics' front office who hatched this brilliance.
Planning an event can be a delightful experience, especially if you can afford an event coordinator but when you're the one in charge it can be cumbersome. There a slew of details to consider like the food, venue and seating charts. Y̶o̶u̶ ̶d̶o̶ ̶n̶o̶t̶ ̶w̶a̶n̶t̶ ̶A̶u̶n̶t̶ ̶A̶g̶n̶e̶s̶ ̶s̶i̶t̶t̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶n̶e̶x̶t̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶h̶e̶r̶ ̶e̶x̶-̶h̶u̶s̶b̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶h̶i̶s̶ ̶n̶e̶w̶ ̶w̶i̶f̶e̶.̶ Most importantly, because this is a wine blog, determining the right amount of wine to order per guest can be the biggest head-scratcher. Balance is everything and we will unpack in this blog how to strike the perfect balance between just enough and overindulgence.