As the film celebrates its tenth anniversary, Director Alexander Payne reflected on the "Sideways effect". He told the Santa Maria Sun:
“Isn’t that funny? In 1934, Clark Gable removed his shirt in It Happened One Night, and he wasn’t wearing an undershirt, and sales of undershirts plummeted. You never know when something like that can happen from a movie. And apparently it did for merlot (down) and pinot noir (up). It was just a joke—the merlot line. I like merlot. It’s just a joke in the film. You can never predict what’s gonna somehow get traction in popular culture.”
Considering the ten years that have passed between the release of "Sideways", however, we deem Merlot to be alive and well. Find out why.
And how much have Merlot plantings and prices really changed in Napa Valley post-"Sideways". Consider the data.