Thank you so much to everyone that joined us for our screening of 'Sideways with Wine' at The Electric Cinema.
We were absolutely delighted to be joined by our special guest tonight, Master Sommelier, Nigel Wilkinson MS DipWSET. Read on for details on all the wines from the evening, our gallery of photos, a barrel of trivia and some details on the location.
As promised, these are the wines we enjoyed ...
Nigel's special wines
Champagne Gremillet Blanc de Noirs - £36.95
Just like Jack opened in the car, but colder. Brioche and orchard fruits on the nose, green apples and luscious lemon curd on the palate. A rich and creamy finish.
Burlesque White Zinfandel, Lodi, California - Fraziers Wine Merchants, Solihull £7.95
Strawberry and ice cream on the nose, bright red berry fruits on the palate with an off dry finish. Thankfully not as sweet as your typical white Zin.
Project B Sauvignon Blanc, Okanagan Valley, Canada - £24.00
Just like Miles and Maya's wine in the restaurant, Sauvignon Blanc but not as you know it. Aged for 12 months in oak, the oak influence smooths the natural acidity of this grape. Tropical notes on the nose, citrus on the palate with a citrus, mineral finish.
Nielson Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara County, California £26.25
Miles' favourite grape, Pinot Noir. This from the same region as our movie setting, central coast California, north of LA. Floral, earthy, and gamey on the notes with bright notes of red fruit. On the palate freshness, strawberry and dark cherry with a mineral finish.
Chateau Milon Saint Emillion Grand Cru, Bordeaux £21.00
Last wine of the evening and another special one. 75% Merlot (yes Merlot) with 25% Cabernet Franc .. just like Miles' coveted Cheval Blanc 1961. Damson and strawberry on the nose, concentrated on the palate with great depth and a good, long finish.
The Sideways Gallery
Super Sideways Trivia
Some highlights from our movie trivia ...
Like Miles book, the source novel was unpublished and only released a month before the film premiere.
Thomas Haden Church stripped naked for his audition because the role demanded it, turns out he was the only actor to do so. Church had left acting to focus on voiceover’s, like his character Jack, when Director Alexander Payne asked him to audition. Clooney wanted the part but was deemed too big and was cast for Payne’s next movie, Descendants. Brad Pitt also apparently auditioned. Matt Dillon was considered, as was Rob Downey JR for the part of Miles.
At Mile’s mother’s house (hate this bit of movie, stealing from mother), the meal gave them all food poisoning. 'Is this Chicken?'
It's never explained in the movie but the title Sideways was so named, because that’s how Miles & Jack refer to themselves when drunk in the book.
Thomas Haden Chruch says they drank grape juice most of time on set. Giamatti had a different take saying it was mostly wine, leading to the actors being drunk on set.
Director Alexander Payne read the transcript for the movie whilst on a flight from Edinburgh to LA. He made a call from an airport payphone to the writer as soon as he landed. He loved the story because he thought all of the characters were so pathetic, and couldn't wait to bring them to life
The two couples dialogue at dinner was almost entirely improvised.
This is the first film to win best screenplay from all five "major" critic groups, then go on to collect Golden Globes, BAFTAs and Oscars.
Thomas Haden Church was very nervous about filming ‘that scene’ with Sandra Oh. Sandra was married to the Director at the time. They decided to 'play it funny' at first but Payne made them do it 'properly'. Payne and Oh were divorced just two years later.
Disappointingly, Paul Giamati faked every bit of his wine knowledge in the movie but Director Payne is a huge fan and personally selected the wines for the movie.
The greatest legacy of the movie is the impact it had on the industry. Miles heartfelt speech about Pinot Noir drove sales of the wine by 20% that year and 170% in the following years. As a result, Merlot suffered. It's thought that Merlot was an easy target, a popular grape at the time that was so over planted in the wrong areas making crappy, flabby wines. It can be argued, that it's the same now for some Californian Pinot Noirs with many planted in the same crappy plots as the poor quality Merlot once grew. During our trip to California we tasted some amazing examples of both Merlot and Pinot Noir.
Want to know what happens next? There is a sequel, written by Rex Pickett, called Vertical. Unfortunately, Payne has no interest in making the film.
Picket was so unhappy with changes Sandra Oh made to the Stephanie character, including a name change from Terra to Stephanie, the motorbike and details around her child that he took his revenge in the sequel .. making her a prostitute!
The end of the film is slightly different to the book. Payne said it needed changing because the book ending was too Hollywood.
The Japanese version is actually set in Napa rather than the Central Coast region.
The house they visit to reclaim Jack's wallet had been recently seized by the Police after they discovered it was being used as a Meth Lab. It was left in exactly the same state for the movie. Residents were paid to stay in their houses.
A Sideways wine club was started in 2005 selling wines from the movie, or similar. The club now focuses on selling wines from boutique producers.
On location with The Wine Events Company
The Sideways Inn - https://sidewaysinn.com
The Hitching Post - https://hitchingpost2.com
We look forward to welcoming you back to another of our events very soon but why not check out our website or sign up to our monthly mailing list to find out about new events first:
Yours in wine, Tony, Nige and the Wine Events Co Crew