I got a text from an old flame recently asking me if it was OK to drink Merlot now. He was worried that if he ordered a Merlot, he would be committing a major faux pas because the movie “Sideways” gave Merlot a bad name.
To any serious wine drinker, Merlot never went away. Oh sure, we chuckled at the movie and went home to drink our Pinot Noir (we were inspired, of course), but study after study has shown that Sideways did not have the significant impact on Merlot OR Pinot Noir drinking that everyone thought it did.
A new study from Nielsen adds to the evidence:
“Merlot sales, measured in both dollars and volume, have grown steadily since “Sideways” was released in 2004.”
Additionally, 93 percent of those who saw the movie said that it had no effect on their perception or drinking habits of Merlot wine.
In general, people find Merlot to be a great value and continue to buy it, time after time.
Lest you think that I am a paid representative for the Merlot industry, I prefer Merlot in Bordeaux blends and not on its own, but wanted to make the point that serious wine drinkers don’t really pay attention to popular culture when they are making their purchases — they follow their taste buds.