7. Sideways Hurts Merlot Sales In The US, Gives Pinot Noir A BoostThe Movie:
Alexander Payne's sublimely funny road trip movie, starring Paul Giamatti and Thomas Hayden Church as a troubled, wine-loving writer and his soon-to-be-married pal who take a trip through California's wine country. The Reality:
Paul Giamatti's character, Miles, spends much of Sideways bigging up the red wine Pinot noir, while denigrating the far more popular and well known Merlot, and amusingly, this actually had a global impact on wine trades. Following the film's release, Merlot sales dropped 2% in the US, while Pinot noir sky-rocketed by a whole 16%, and other countries like the UK also followed suit. As a result, the price of Merlot dropped, while studies have noted that overall wine consumption increased in the time following the movie's release. Somewhere, I like to think there's a room full of Merlot grape farmers cursing Alexander Payne and his mighty fine movie.