Eric Asimov, the wine critic for The New York Times, opened his Wednesday column like so:
"What's the best thing to happen to merlot in the last few years? Why, 'Sideways,' the movie that so roundly trashed merlot while genuflecting before the new god of red wine, pinot noir. The movie gave shape to and inchonate movement away from American merlot in the marketplace, and spoke the truth in caustic terms: namely that most merlot produced in the United States is not very good. As a result, the anti-merlot trend accelerated. Fewer people bought it, and producers bottled less of it."
Clearly, Mr. Asimov has not made a trip to Napa in recent months.
While it's decidely true that the movie bashed the m-grape, it actually had the opposite effect on some vino-buyers. A recent visit to Shafer -- whose claim to fame is of the hillside variety -- highlighted that the film, ironically, piqued the interest of would-be buyers and really didn't negatively impact their Merlot sales at all.
Still. He does get to write a wine blog for a fancy-pants newspaper. Guess that gets him one point.