Your Pass Notes on the resurgent red grape merlot (5 October) makes much of Paul Giamatti’s character hating any wine made from it in the film Sideways. It is true that he railed against merlot while swooning at the mention of the pinot noir grape.
However, at the end of the film, when he forlornly opens a special bottle that he had been saving to share with his wife before she abandoned him, what is it that he is drinking? Château Cheval Blanc, the celebrated Saint-Émilion grand cru, in which there is not a drop of pinot noir, while around 39% of the blend of grapes is: merlot!
Sideways is a very funny film. Was this one last joke played on poor Paul Giamatti?
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