Tag Archives: merlot

Sideways goes Vertical

Source: Wikipedia

Was it really way back on May 9, 2010, when I speculated about a sequel to Sideways, one of the most successful independent movies of all time? Wow. Time sure flies when you are having fun.

If you aren’t regularly reading my blog, you miss out on bleeding edge shit like this.

Since then search engine terms like “sideways 2” and “sideways sequel” have consistently performed well in bringing traffic to my blog. For the last seven days terms related to Sideways are the second most popular reason people visit my blog and I only wrote about the topic that one single time.

That sort of thing is a testament to the popularity of the book by Rex Pickett and the movie of the same name.

Now we know more about what’s next for Miles and Jack. Rex Pickett has written a new book that picks up their story. It has been seven years since that crazy week they spent together in Santa Ynez valley…

Miles and Jack are back.
The Follow-up to Sideways

It’s seven years later. Miles has written a novel that has been made into a wildly successful movie, and the movie has changed his life. Jack, contrarily, is divorced, has a kid, and is on the skids. Phyllis, Miles’s mom, has suffered a stroke that’s left her wheelchair-bound and wasting away in assisted-living. She desperately wants to live with her sister in Wisconsin. When Miles gets invited to be master of ceremonies at a Pinot Noir festival in Oregon, he hatches a harebrained road trip. With Jack as his co-pilot, he leases a handicapped-equipped rampvan, hires a pot-smoking Filipina caretaker and, with his mother’s rascally Yorkie in tow, they take off for Wisconsin via Oregon’s fabled Willamette Valley.

Source: Vertical – A Novel by Rex Pickett

LOL! I can already see it. 🙂

Alas, I’m a little late bringing you this news. The book has already been on sale since December 1st. If I had known I would have told Santa to bring me a copy.

Looking back I can see my original post was pretty darn accurate. Remember, you heard it here first!  Jack’s marriage failed? Check. Oregon’s Willamette Valley in search of more pinot noir? Check. Yamhill County? Check. (That’s where McMinnville is located.) Miles as the Master of Ceremonies at the International Pinot Festival? Check!

What about Maya? Apparently she and Miles are no longer an item (were they ever?) and she doesn’t make the trip. Miles’ life has evolved (devolved?) into celebrity, the wine festival circuit, and, get this, groupies. For Miles! Wow. Of course there is plenty of wine drinking, too. And sex. But that’s all I know at this point.

In the course of this book Miles apparently comes face to face with his abyss (if you’ll pardon the phrase) and reaches several turning points including one with his mom. I haven’t read the book yet so I don’t know how it all turns out.

In closing, I’d simply like to propose a toast to Rex Pickett and the hopefully forthcoming conclusion to The Sideways Trilogy. You hear that, Google? The Sideways Trilogy. The Sideways Trilogy. The Sideways Trilogy!!!

I crack myself up. Now pardon me, I have to go swill down some Merlot.

Website: VerticalTheNovel.com

Can you believe it has been six years since the movie Sideways came out? It was released all the way back in 2004. If you haven’t seen this movie yet I highly recommend it. For the uninitiated the trailer and the review by Ebert & Roeper are included at the bottom o … Read More

via Shouts from the Abyss

Sideways 2 – Merlot Strikes Back

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Can you believe it has been six years since the movie Sideways came out? It was released all the way back in 2004. If you haven’t seen this movie yet I highly recommend it. For the uninitiated the trailer and the review by Ebert & Roeper are included at the bottom of this post. The film is equally funny if you know a wine snob or happen to be one yourself. No interest in wine is required to enjoy the film, however.

The film is about an aspiring writer named Miles (played excellently by Paul Giamatti who should have won an Oscar) who is a bit of a wine snob and still hasn’t moved on with his life following his divorce. Miles and his friend and former college roommate Jack (played hilariously by Thomas Haden Church) decide to spend a week in California’s Santa Ynez Valley wine country as a send off to Jack who is to be married at the end of the week. Miles wants to turn his friend onto wine, eat good food, play golf and enjoy the scenery. Jack just wants to “get his nut” with one last sexual fling before getting hitched. The week they share is at times hilarious, touching, sad, disturbing and poignant.

One of the most famous scenes from the movie, perhaps, is:

Jack: If they want to drink Merlot, we’re drinking Merlot.
Miles: No, if anyone orders Merlot, I’m leaving. I am NOT drinking any fucking Merlot!

One of the recurring notes of the film is the constant denigration of Merlot by Miles. You see he has a particular penchant for the red wine varietal Pinot Noir. Interestingly the movie had an effect on the wine market:

Throughout the film, Miles speaks fondly of the red wine varietal Pinot Noir, while denigrating Merlot. Following the film’s U.S. release in October 2004, Merlot sales dropped 2% while Pinot Noir sales increased 16% in the Western United States. A similar trend occurred in British wine outlets. Sales of Merlot dropped after the film’s release possibly due to Miles’ disparaging remarks about the varietal in the film. However, sales of Merlot in the United States remain more than double those of Pinot Noir, the country’s second most popular wine. (Source.)

The movie was based on the book “Sideways” by Rex Pickett. The novel on which the movie was based is said to be largely autobiographical even including the scene where Miles famously drinks from a spit bucket:

Q: Why did you drink from a spit bucket?

A: I was at Epicurious. It was a special tasting upstairs. It was high-end Cab. They weren’t really spitting, they were dumping. Maybe a few had spit. You’ve got to understand, I was broke back then. I thought, “Wait a minute, there’s a lot of good Cab in there.” I picked it up and drank from it. They talked about that for months. I knew it had to go into the novel.

Q: So how did it taste?

A: I admit, I was a little drunk at this point. I think I said something like, “This is a great Meritage.” Honestly, it’s a true story. But I didn’t guzzle from it. Let’s get that straight.


Did I mention this is an awesome movie? With scenes like this and plenty of others that rival it how can you go wrong? 🙂

It has been reported that Pickett is writing a sequel after a trip to Oregon and being told he “missed the boat, that the real pinot noir story was in Oregon.” (Source.)

Details are still a bit sketchy on the sequel, but the gist is that Jack’s marriage has failed. Big surprise, eh? Sorry Napa Valley, you get dissed again. This trip finds Milo and Jack together again and on their way to Oregon’s Willamette Valley in search of more pinot noir. No doubt there will be plenty of fun along the way but eventually they find themselves in Yamhill County where they decide to crash (and succeed) at getting into an event know as the International Pinot Noir Celebration. I don’t know much else about the plot, but I seriously doubt Merlot will strike back. I don’t anticipate Miles’ preference changing in that department.

Other than the report linked above stating that Pickett is writing the sequel I can find no other information about a possible sequel. There appears to be no movie deal at this time and no commitments by any of the actors to reprise their roles. But he’s hoping.

If a sequel does happen, I’ll even pop a bottle of pinot noir and try to find out what Miles sees in it. 🙂

Sideways trailer:

Sideways reviewed by Ebert and Roeper: