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Sideways effect grips America

Oscar-tipped wine film Sideways is dramatically affecting wine sales in the US, according to leading market analyst ACNielsen.

The Golden globe-winning film, which is also up for 5 Oscars this weekend, has vastly increased Pinot Noir’s appeal.

The film, in which two friends go on a stag week tour of the Santa Barbara wine country, shows failing writer and wine-geek Miles explaining his love of Pinot Noir.

‘It’s a hard grape to grow…It’s not a survivor like Cabernet…Pinot needs constant care and attention,’ says Miles in one scene.

According to figures released by ACNielsen, sales of Pinot Noir over the last 3 months are up 16% year-on-year. Wine retailers and bars, in California in particular, are showing marked increases in sales of Pinot Noir.

In the film Miles (pictured, left), played by Paul Giametti, makes no secret of his preferences.

‘If anyone orders Merlot, I’m leaving. I’m not drinking any f***ing Merlot,’ he says before entering a restaurant. He’s equally outspoken when it comes to Cabernet Franc.

Although neither varietal has shown a decline since the film, some are claiming Merlot, once a top-seller in the US, is now out of fashion.

‘Suddenly, America’s favorite red wine is also its most uncool,’ says the San Francisco Chronicle.

Few have yet pointed out that Mile’s trophy bottle, a 1961 Cheval-Blanc, is a St-Emilion blend of Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Written by Oliver Styles

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