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  • Quirky 'Sideways' Sends Pinot Noir Sales Soaring
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - The pinot noir repartee between Paul Giamatti (news)'s and Virginia Madsen's characters in the movie "Sideways" has helped spur dizzying sales of the red wine during a lingering U.S. glut, wine experts say.

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    U.S. consumers are salivating over the scene in which Giamatti's "Miles," a neurotic, failing author, evangelizes pinot's subtle delicacy to Madsen's "Maya" in an attempt to wow her with his wine knowledge.

    "People come in and immediately say, 'Where's the pinot noir?"' said Steve Villani, manager of Columbus Circle Liquors in Manhattan. "After a while, we began to ask them if they saw the movie, and they laugh out loud and say, 'yes."'

    As the Oscar-nominated film generated a buzz through the holidays, U.S. consumers bought 22 percent more pinot noir in the four weeks ending Jan. 15 than the year before, ACNielsen data show. The big winner is Constellation Brands Inc.'s Blackstone Pinot Noir from California, with year-over-year sales jumping 147 percent in the 12 weeks after the film hit theaters on Oct. 22.

    "People have really latched onto the romance of the scene, which made pinot the star, no doubt about it," said Phil Lynch, spokesman for Louisville, Kentucky wine producer Brown-Forman Inc. .

    HIGH-MAINTENANCE GRAPE

    The pinot noir grape, a Burgundy variety, requires a notoriously huge amount of attention from the grower, which makes getting the wine's taste just right extremely difficult -- something Giamatti waxes about during the scene.


    "People in the know graduate up to pinot noir as the ultimate red wine, but the buzz around this movie has helped infrequent wine consumers try it immediately," said Jon Fredrikson, president of Gomberg, Fredrikson & Associates, a Woodside, California, wine consulting firm.

    Sales of pinot were up 50 percent after the movie's release for Napa Valley's Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines, a unit of Diageo PLC, but up just 10 percent for Brown-Forman.

    The companies wouldn't say if the pinot sales increases cut into other varieties or affected bottom lines, but they welcome any help from Hollywood that pulls grapes from the vine and puts them into bottles.

    U.S. wine producers have been hurt by a grape surplus, competition from Australian imports and such inexpensive wines as the Charles Shaw label, popularly known as "Two-Buck Chuck."

    "Anything that moves cases these days is great," said Brown-Forman's Lynch. "This movie could help pinot noir replace merlot as the new hot red wine."

    Constellation planned to sell 25,000 cases of Blackstone Pinot in 2004, but instead sold 46,000, said Lisa Farrell, spokeswoman.



     

    AKAK

    Well, that's like hypnotizing chickens.
    Staff member
    Tech Admin
    "This movie could help pinot noir replace merlot as the new hot red wine."

    Uuggghhh.... great... now Pinot will be even more expensive. I liked it when all the idiots were driving merlot prices up... drink all the merlot you want, suckers.
     
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    gbearbuck

    Herbie for President
    Just keep Reisling prices cheap!!! (or my wife will cost me even more money each month :tongue2: )... I must admit I enjoy a good Reisling as well.

    Good thing I loaded up on Pinot Noir a year ago... quick maturing time for bottles (on avg. 5 years instead of the avg. 10 years for the cab's and Merlot's)....
     
    Upvote 0

    exhawg

    Mirror Guy
    Staff member
    gbearbuck said:
    Just keep Reisling prices cheap!!! (or my wife will cost me even more money each month :tongue2: )... I must admit I enjoy a good Reisling as well.

    Good thing I loaded up on Pinot Noir a year ago... quick maturing time for bottles (on avg. 5 years instead of the avg. 10 years for the cab's and Merlot's)....
    Reisling's my favorite. I also like Pink Catawba.
     
    Upvote 0

    exhawg

    Mirror Guy
    Staff member
    gbearbuck said:
    she likes reislings, ice wines, ports, and anything else that is very sweet. With the pricing structure the way it is, she gets reislings :biggrin: ...
    Get her a bottle of Lonz Pink Catawba if you don't mind wine without a cork. It's less than $5 a bottle. The Reisling I buy is usually $8 a bottle.
     
    Upvote 0

    gbearbuck

    Herbie for President
    The aussie's have switched to twist offs for most of their whites. 10% of all corks go bad... it really makes sense unless you are aging the bottle (and you don't age white wines).

    I usually buy in multiple casses and will order and wait to pick up... I can usually get well over 10% off if I play my cards right. It is also wise to frequently check out your fav. wine shop. Distributors will choose not to carry a certain brand anymore and reduce prices to move inventory. If I find a good deal, I'll pop a bottle at the shop, try it, and if I like it buy a case or two (extra 10% off the already reduced price).

    doing this will bring $20 reislings down to $15 and under... $20 will get you a nice reisling... it is a "cheap grape"
     
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