Cult Merlots shine at Napa Valley Film Festival’s homage to “Sideways”


Wine tasting panel taught by MaryAnn Worobiec of Wine Spectator Magazine

Wine tasting panel taught by MaryAnn Worobiec of Wine Spectator Magazine

In honor of the film, “Sideways,” which romanticized wine tasting, elevated Pinot Noir, and looked askance at Merlot, this year’s Napa Valley Film Festival held a special Merlot Panel, as well as a Merlot Tasting event called “We’re Drinking Merlot!”

Sean Quinn, NVFF  Wine Manager

Sean Quinn, NVFF Wine Manager

The panel was moderated by Sean Quinn, the NVFF Wine Program Manager, and included panelists Jim Laube (Editor, Wine Spectator magazine), Tom Rinaldi, Chris Carpenter (Winemaker, La Jota), and Hailey Trefethen (Trefethen Family Vineyards). Warming up the well-helled crowd was the “How to Taste Like a Pro” seminar presented by MaryAnn Worobiec, Senior Editor of Wine Spectator magazine. These events honor not only the role of merlot in the film “Sideways“, also the positive impact that “Sideways” had on the increase in quality and palate of today’s Merlots.

The Rutherford Hill team

The Rutherford Hill team


La Jota


Sheldon Richards of Paloma Vineyard


Holly Horton, Provenance Vineyards (2010)


Freemark Abbey 2012


La Jota


O’Brien Estate 2011



Kara's wine-influence chocolate cupcakes

Kara’s wine-influence chocolate cupcakes


Miner Family winery

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