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Wine film Sideways inspires California wine bar

Sideways, the 2004 Academy Award-winning wine-geek film, has inspired a new Californian wine bar.

Located in Solvang, Santa Barbara County, Tastes of the Valleys – a Sideways Wine Bar opened on 12 January. The name is licensed from Fox Searchlight Pictures, and no-one from the film is involved.

‘The Sideways theme is that we specialise in wine from the Central Coast,’ said manager Bobby Moy. ‘We are right in the middle of where much of the action in the film takes place.’

Moy has chosen wines from about 15 producers including as Qupé and Lane Tanner – the original winemaker for the Hitching Post restaurant featured in the film.

The bar is also the first official tasting room for top producer Au Bon Climat and carries the full range.

All wines are sold by bottle, glass or ‘taste’.

Part-owner Dave Chambers, manager of SidewaysWineClub.com, a San Francisco-based online wine club – of which the bar is an offshoot – said the long-term plan is for other bars to come under the Sideways umbrella.

‘We feature small and boutique producers with insufficient production to supply a massive chain,’ he said. ‘We’re not thinking Starbucks, that’s for sure. But we will soon need more space to serve our market, and are eyeing other locations in Santa Barbara County and beyond.’

While patrons are assured a list of at least six Sideways wines at any given time, not all of the wines in the film will be featured in the bar and it does not stock any Merlot.

Written by Maggie Rosen

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