In 2004 the film Sideways had a marked effect on the US wine industry.
An offbeat comedy about two friends discontented Miles, and Jack, who take a trip to Santa Barbara wine country: depressed Miles wants to relax whilst Jack wants a fling before he’s hitched.
The Sideways characters lauded Pinot Noir at the expense of Merlot. Paul Giamatti’s character Miles is a discontented wine aficionado who adores Pinot Noir but despises Merlot, he famously says ‘No, if anyone orders Merlot, I’m leaving’.
Pinot Noir brand Blackstone achieved a sales increase of almost 150 % after the movies’ success and news organisations reported that Merlot’s sales diminished.
The location, Santa Ynez Valley, saw a significant spike in tourism after the release, and local including bar The Hitching Post experienced an astounding rise in business.
Link: S. Cuellar study