Posts tagged ‘Sideways’

June 24, 2016

Burrowing Owl Merlot, 2010

Sideways is now a play.  Sideways, the book which became an Alexander Payne movie, which transformed wine tourism, at least in California, is now hitting the West End.  A great article with author Rex Pickett can be found here.


My biggest regret about Sideways is that while the volume of Pinot drunk in America skyrocketed, the price of Merlot stayed more or less static.  That, to me, is a con; even gold and silver fluctuate on demand…

Burrowing Owl Merlot, 2010

There has been no reprieve on the price of Merlot at Burrowing Owl.  If you buy it online from the winery, at $30 before shipping, it’s not too hard on the pocketbook.  But locally (and the Merlot is the only BO easily found in private shops), it tops out at $40 once you factor tax.


It is good.  Toxically good.  We definitely finished the bottle (over oven baked broccoli, cauliflower and turkey meatballs).  If The Who was BO wine, Roger Daltry would be their Chardonnay, Pete Townshend the Athene, and Keith Moon (RIP) their 2010 Merlot.  I am not kidding: This wine is that manic, it swings the gambit from soft and lush and typical to aspirations of nearly Cab Sauv profundity (which, no, it doesn’t reach).  There are some serious peaks and valleys as you drink it.  If you need qualifiers, OK: violets and hints of chocolate, tannins, unripe tart blackberries mixed with overripe loganberries, it’s a teeter totter).  All of that, and more, in a whirlwind potpourri that is both intoxicating and confusing.

Burrowing Owl Merlot 2010

Price: In a restaurant at $70 I think it’s a joke.  At $40 I give it a pass.  At $30 it’s half a case.


Market Liquidity: David Sedaris in culottes.  If you get the reference.

March 5, 2012

Ghost Pines Merlot, 2009

I guess ever since Miles in Sideways declaimed Merlot over sex with a hot chick it’s been pretty much relegated to the con-no-sir dustbin.  Good, all the more Ghost Pines for me.  (I will also take the supposed glut of Pomerol and St. Emilion which the wine press has presumed was a post-Sideways effect but which I never noted in BC.)


Really truly lovely for a Louis Martini / Gallo product.  Not a Wine Advocate adjective filled mystery or worth a treaty on viniculture.  Approachable, rich, tasty, satisfying, excellent for anyone afraid of a few tannins.  Pretty much what you want in a decent red wine when you have decent food and good friends to share it with and the wine doesn’t have to be a star.  I’ll leave the thesaurus out on this one except that it’s red, it’s wine, and it’s good.


Price: Not too expensive in other provinces (under $25), not available in BC.


Market Liquidity: Open two, one won’t suffice.