Monday, January 24, 2022

Merlot: "How Paul Giamatti broke the California wine industry" (plus one of the greatest wine collections in the world. [and baboons])

France has some good Merlot.
(see after the jump)

From The Why Axis:

New data on the Sideways effect

The movie Sideways, a comedy about a neurotic novelist on a soul-searching trip through California’s wine country, became a bit of a sensation among a certain class of Americans in 2005. It took in over $100 million at the box office and won a whole bunch of awards. It’s best remembered today for an iconic scene in which Paul Giamatti’s main character goes on a brief expletive-ridden tirade against Merlot right before a high-stakes dinner date.
These roughly five or six seconds of dialogue had a profound effect on popular perceptions of Merlot and, in turn, on the entire California wine industry. According to a new study published in the Journal of Wine Economics (no, I did not make that up), in the years following Sideways’ release the price of Merlot fell and California wineries converted thousands of acres of Merlot grapes into the varietal preferred by Giamatti’s character in the film: Pinot Noir....


In 2010 we posted "Vineyard-Raiding Baboons Favor Pinot Noir":

What a bunch of wine snob poseurs.
Merlot is just fine, especially if it's dolled up as Chateau Petrus.
Berry Bros. & Rudd is running a special case price, "Buy 6 and save £ 2667.37".
A Romanée Conti (pinot noir) will cost you double or triple. BB&R is price on request.
Either way, possibly more than the average baboon has in petty cash....

From The Big Money's Daily Bread blog:

Wild baboons in South Africa are raiding vineyards. Perhaps they watched the move Sideways or perhaps they just have good taste: Growers report that the baboons favor pinot noir grapes. Not only that, but they "choose the nicest bunches" and leave the sour grapes on the ground, according to one farmer quoted by the Associated Press.

The primates' discernment is expensive for the growers in South Africa's wine country: Pinot sells for more than the merlot and cabernet sauvignon that the tasteful baboons tend to ignore....

Well, compared to the gentleman in this next post I rank somewhere in the vineyard raiding baboon category: 

One Of The Greatest Wine Collections In The World "Hidden Under a Chicken Coop: The “Louvre” of Wine"


 From Messy Nessy Chic, April 2, 2021:

One of the world’s most prestigious wine cellars isn’t where you think it might be. It isn’t nestled beneath a grand chateau or presidential palace, but buried in the backyard of an average Joe, a retiree of humble background who has been collecting the rarest wines, bottle by bottle for the past 50 years. 

© Michel-Jack Chasseuil


Wow oh Wow oh Wow.