Wines To Pair With #SundaySupper Movie-Inspired Recipes

When I saw this week’s #SundaySupper theme, it didn’t take me long to decide which movie I would pick.  Sideways!  The best wine-theme movie I’ve ever seen.  There are three things I’ll always remember about the movie…

scene from Sideways

First, the line most people remember from the movie is…

No, if anyone orders Merlot, I’m leaving. I am NOT drinking any f**king Merlot!

Who knew that such a line could single-handedly, if unintentionally send Merlot sales into a downward spiral, and elevate Pinot Noir to dizzying heights?

Second, was the scene that I enjoyed the most and resonated with me, even before I got into wine big-time.  It was delivered by Virginia Madsen her Oscar-nominated role as Maya (caution – there is profanity at the end of the clip)

It was a beautiful, evocative scene that was that I’ll always remember.

And last but not least was the most infamous food and wine pairing of all time, when a depressed Miles, played by Paul Giamatti pairs a 1961 Cheval Blanc – one of the great wines of the 20th century – with a burger and fries (and drinks the wine from a Styrofoam cup) At the time I had little idea what ’61 Cheval Blanc (a red Bordeaux blend) was, and knew even less about food and wine pairing. Nonetheless I knew the pairing was kin to blasphemy.

Like any great movie, Sideways speaks to our human frailties, and our need to enter into life and relationships in such was that we experience fullness in our lives.  It wasn’t about so much about wine, love, or buddies on a road trip. It was about the memories created.

It’s the same with #SundaySupper, food bringing families together around the dining table and the memories that go along with it.

Check out the blockbuster recipes the #SundaySupper crew is premiering this week, and my wine pairing recommendations. Oh, and I’ve made sure to include Merlot among this week’s recommended wines 😉

Pair these dishes with Prosecco. One of my favorites is the Terre di San Venanzio Fortunato Prosecco Brut. It show aromas of green apples, stone fruits, and white flowers. On the palate, it’s medium-bodied, dry with a creamy mousse and apple, white peach flavors with a mineral undertone.

Pair this dish with Moscato d’ Asti. I like the 2012 Vietti Cascinetta Moscato d’Asti.  It has a lovely rose, and peach character with a soft effervescence.

Pair this dish with Sauvignon Blanc.  Look for the 2011 Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand.  It’s an outstanding value, and delivers grapefruit, tropical fruit, and lemongrass aromas followed by grapefruit, tropical fruit and hint of herb and mineral flavors.

Pair these dishes with Pinot Gris, or Pinot Grigio depending on geography and interpretation.  It’s a grape that’s made in a variety  of styles.  Look for the 2010 Domaines Schlumberger Pinot Gris Les Princes Abbes from Alsace, France. It’s a dry-style with a rich honeyed tropical fruit and baked apple character. 

Pair these dishes with Viognier.  It’s an aromatic white grape most often associated with the Rhône Valley in France.  It’s underrated in its ability to be a good match for a variety of foods.  Look for the 2011 Yalumba Eden Valley Viognier from  Australia. It has a floral, citrus, apricot, and spice character. 

Pair these dishes with Beaujolais, a wine from the eponymous region made from the Gamay grape.  While I’m not a big fan of the Beaujolais Nouveau release annually in November, I am a fan of Cru Beaujolais.  They tend to be light-bodied, food friendly red wines with soft tannins.  Look for the  2010 Potel-Aviron Côte de Brouilly “Vieilles Vignes” Cru Beaujolais It has a black raspberry, floral, and asian spice character.  Can’t find a Beaujolais?  Then go with your favorite Pinot Noir – a similar style of wine. 

Pair these dishes with Chianti, the classic Italian red wine. Look for the 2011 Coltibuono Cetamura Chianti.  It’s a blend of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Canaiolo with a beautiful black cherry, spice, and licorice character with a kiss of rusticity.

Pair these dishes with Merlot.  Look for the 2010 Wild Horse Central Coast Merlot.  It has a fruit forward plum, sour cherry, baking spice character with good acidity. 

Pair this dish with (Miles would be devastated!) Chimay Grande Reserve (Blue Label) beer.  It’s big beer, (9% alcohol) with a bit of a vinous character.  It show big, deep dark flavors with a kiss of sweetness  often found in Belgian beers.  If beer isn’t your thing, pair with the Merlot recommended above. (Looks like Miles will be devastated either way;-)

Pair these dishes with a Rioja, the 2007 Bodegas Vina Eguia Reserva. It shows spice, leather and bright red fruit aromas followed by raspberry, sweet tobacco and vanilla spice on the palate.  I recommend letting the wine “breathe” for an hour or so and you’ll be amply rewarded.

Pair these desserts with the  2012 Vietti Cascinetta Moscato d’Asti noted above.

Pair these desserts with Banyuls, a lighter style fortified wine made in France.  It’s a Port-style wine made from Grenache, and is a great match for chocolate.  Look for the 2009 Les Clos de Paulilles Banyuls Rimage.  It has rich, dense blackberry, plum, caramel, and vanilla aromas and flavors. 

Pair this dessert with an Oloroso Sherry, a denser richer style of Sherry.  Look for the Lustau East Indian Solera. It’s a provocative sweet creamy Sherry with a toffee, fig, caramel, raisin, and baking spice  (cinnamon and clove) character. 

Bottle Shock (beverages)

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday, April 14th to talk all about movies that have inspired us to head into the kitchen – and the food that comes from that inspiration (7pm EST)!  We’ll tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world.   Follow the#SundaySupper hashtag, and include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more delicious recipes and food photos.


  1. NinjaBaking says:

    Thank you for the recommendation of Port from Grenache for Fantasia and other chocolate cakes. Very much appreciate too your fine comments about Sideways being more about human foibles, relationships and healing =)

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks so much for your kind words!

  2. VintageKitchen1 says:

    I haven´t seen Sideways, but I´m writing it down. So many movies I need to watch! The pairings are wonderful Martin, as usual. And since I usually make desserts, I get the ports and moscatos, which I love! Have a great day

  3. diabeticFoodie says:

    Sideways is one of my favorite movies. I also like the line “Can we drink it now?” Great pairings, as usual.

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks so much for the kind words Shelby!

  4. reneedobbs says:

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen Sideways. I love that movie. There are so many great aspect to it; humor, love, wine, friendships, etc.
    Thank you so much for another one of your fantastic wine pairings for Sunday Supper. My wine to-buy list keeps growing with each one.

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks Renee! Cheers!

  5. A_Kiasi says:

    Another great wine-pairing post. I actually take notes sometimes when I’m reading your recommended pairings! “Sideways” was a funny movie, and my husband and I enjoyed watching it. Kudos!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks so much Alaiyo!

  6. A friend was just recommending Sideways to me last weekend.  He went so far as to say I HAD TO see it.  So now I guess I really, really do!  Great wine pairings, as usual, Martin.  Like Renee, my list of “to buy” keeps growing. 

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Yes Stacy…Sideways is a must see. I bet you’ll love it!

  7. girlichef says:

    That scene of Maya’s is probably my favorite my favorite scene of that whole movie!  You definitely chose the perfect one for you :)  And I’ll admit to drinking an awful lot of Pinot after this movie came out…  I’d gladly sit and munch my beet chips with a glass of it today. Thanks for the great pairings, Martin!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks so much Heather…get job hosting this week’s event. I could watch that scene over and over again. Mean more to me now than it did when I originally watched the movie…

  8. Chef Di says:

    Great suggestion of a Viognier with my Chicken Tchoupitoulas Pasta!  And what a fun post… so glad you are part of #SundaySupper!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks so much Diana!

  9. lizzydo says:

    Thanks for all the magnificent wine pairings! Guess I need to add Sideways to my movie list :)

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thank Liz! I think you’ll enjoy it!

  10. countrygirlvillage says:

    Such great pairings. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks so much Shannon!

  11. noshingwiththenolands says:

    We are huge lovers of Rioja here. Thanks for sharing such a great post as always. Perfect pairings!! Sideways was a great movie!!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks Tara…I’m really starting to get into Rioja wines. We’ve visiting Spain in June, and staying in La Rioja for a few day. Looking forward to it!

  12. IRun4Wine says:

    I knew before the lineup that you would do Sideways :) I am actually remaking my dish tonight and going to pair it with your suggestion. Thank you!!!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks Megan…how was the pairing?

  13. marocmama says:

    I’ve never seen that movie but adding it to the line up.  I love seeing your pairs!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks so much Amanda. I think you’ll enjoy the movie!

  14. HezziD says:

    Great wine pairings as always!   I thought Sideways was a great movie and thoroughly enjoyed it!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks so much Heather!

  15. FamilyFoodie says:

    I love Sideways and love how you related it to #SundaySupper.  It really is all about the memories created around the family table, many times with great wine.  Looking forward to trying your recommendation!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks so much Isabel!

  16. FoodieArmyWife says:

    Thank you for all of these wonderful pairings. And now I have another movie to add to my Netflix queue :)

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks Conni – I hope you enjoy Sideways!

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