Art and design






Life and style








US news

World news

A merlot blow for Paul Giamatti? | Letters

Paul Giamatti (L) and Thomas Haden Church in the 2004 film Sideways
Paul Giamatti (left) and Thomas Haden Church in the 2004 film Sideways. Did the production team play a trick on Giamatti at the end of the movie, asks Gavin Weightman. Photograph: Sportsphoto Ltd/Allstar

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?
Gavin Weightman

• Join the debate – email

• Read more Guardian letters – click here to visit

This article titled "A merlot blow for Paul Giamatti?" was written by Letters, for The Guardian on Wednesday 11 October 2017 05.18pm

Life and style

Want your child to be an engineer? Give them a falcon or go stargazing

A childhood brush with beekeeping, a foray into falconry or a fossil-hunting trip could inspire a… Read more

British apple boom brings back hundreds of forgotten varieties

Britain is enjoying a remarkable apple boom, as hundreds of new community orchards revive lost… Read more

What I’m really thinking: the supermarket checkout operator

I make no judgments about your shopping; your eight cans of lager a day, your chocolate habit,… Read more

Observer Sudoku

Fill the grid using the numbers 1 to 9. Each number must appear just once in every row, column and… Read more

Meera Sodha’s vegan recipe for chilli tofu

Something happens to me when I get within 10 miles of Leicester. I crave chilli… Read more

Fit in my 40s: ‘Give up this fitness tracker? I’ll die first’

In the period between taking delivery of my Fitbit Blaze and working out how to charge it, I… Read more

Observer killer sudoku

Normal Sudoku rules apply, except the numbers in the cells contained within grey lines add up to… Read more

Love shack: how a disused garage became a vital family space

A few years ago, Ina Porras faced a dilemma: with a growing brood, her beloved Georgian bungalow… Read more

Time to wrap up your warm-climate plants

We all feel the onset of autumn: that first day you wish you had a scarf, or the evening you… Read more

In the sporting acronym, what is a goat? The Weekend quiz

The questions 1 On 4 June 1783, what was demonstrated at Annonay, France? 2 In the sporting… Read more