The growing ‘Sideways’ cult

SidewaysIt came as no suprise to us that pinot noir sales are up thanks to Sideways. We saw the movie twice, but even the first time around it made us want to a) drink lots of wine and b) flock to California wine country. It was something about how the camera soaked up the Santa Ynez Valley, and how the characters in turn gazed admiringly at glass after glass of pinot noir. All this and witty, cutting dialogue spoken by actors who resemble real drunken losers. So it came as no surprise when The Wall Street Journal reported last week that the not-so-chic wine region 80 miles north of Los Angeles is a) attracting tons of weekenders and b) said weekenders are packing restaurants from the movie (Hitching Post) and reciting lines of dialogue (“If anyone orders merlot, I’m leaving. I am not drinking any fucking merlot!”). (The Journal story, of course, is subscription-only, but you can get the idea of the trend by reading this story from the Chicago Sun-Times.)

The Journal compares the phenomenon to a “grown-up version” of how devotees responded to The Rocky Horror Picture Show or what Urban Cowboy did for Gilley’s. But for pure alcohol-dialogue satisfaction, AdFreak points to Dennis Hopper’s full-lung exclamation in Blue Velvet: “Heineken? Fuck that shit! Pabst Blue Ribbon!” We can’t count the number of times we have seen that David Lynch freak show, and years ago we even threw a Blue Velvet party, decorating our living room with a string of empty Pabst cans. Can Sideways wine-a-thons be far behind? Don’t forget your Barely Legal.

—Posted by Andrew McMains

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures