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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
London

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

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