This month back in 2004, the movie Sideways debuted. The movie put Santa Barbara on everyone’s wine destination map and launched the careers of several of its stars including Paul Giamatti, Thomas Hayden Church, Virginia Madsen and Sandra Oh. The movie also made getting into The Hitching Post restaurant quite impossible and it was blamed for the demise of Merlot although that theory has since been debunked. To honor the anniversary of the debut, I am pouring an all Merlot lineup this week. So chase away the Miles in you and embrace the beauty that is Merlot! Oh, and fyi the actual quote from the movie is “If anyone orders Merlot, I’m leaving, I am NOT drinking any (expletive) Merlot!”
Wine cheats department: There’s a big scandal involving the master sommelier exam as reported by Esther Mobley in the San Francisco Chronicle. Got me to thinking on how one goes about cheating on a wine test. Do you affix wine labels to your arms? Do you hide little bottles of wine on you and pop them open during the exam? Do you hide corks under the desk with the answers written on them? Curious minds want to know!
Excuse me sir, my wine is flat department: Santiago Navarro of Garcon Wines in England wants you to have flat wine all the time. Flat wine bottles that is. A flat bottle is lighter than a normal bottle of wine, takes up less space, and can hold 750ml. A twelve bottle case of wine in regular bottles weighs about 40 pounds while a flat bottle case of twelve weighs about 22 pounds. To see what the flat bottle looks like, check out the Forbes article here at The Wine Bottle’s Future May Be Shaping Up To Be Flat.
Overheard at school department: My son came home from school and said he overheard the following conversation when a teacher’s aide walked into the classroom and spoke with his teacher. Aide: “Question” Teacher: “What kind of bear is best? Bears. Beets. Battlestar Galactica!” My son – a junkie of The Office – immediately recognized the line from the episode where Jim Halpert impersonated Dwight Schrute. We love that show, thank God for Netflix! Check out the hilarious scene here Bears beats Battlestar Galactica.
What’s in a name department: Faust vs Faustini. In another David vs Goliath battle, the small, family owned and operated Faustini Wines is facing opposition from Faust Wines on renewing the Faustini trademark. Michelle Faustini has been using her family name since 2007 but the wine industry conglomerate, Huneeus Vintners wants to block her from using her family name. Get this though, Huneeus got the name Faust from the German legend of Dr. Faust, a hapless intellectual who trades his soul for endless pleasure. So Huneeus rips off a German opera yet they don’t want a winery to use their family name. Scratch Faust off my list of recommendations…
What I’m tasting this week:
I am NOT drinking any (expletive) Merlot!
Fableist 395 Merlot, Paso Robles 2015 $18.99
Swanson Merlot, Napa Valley 2013 $24.99
Januik Merlot, Columbia Valley 2014 $26.99
Chateau Moutin Grande Cuvee Graves 2009 $44.99
The Last Word: Wine is to women, what duct tape is to men. It fixes everything.