Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Pinot Noir v. Plonk

Anne Kingston ($) reports the following interesting wine sales data [hat tip to Jack]:

In Ontario, sales of pinot noir rose 10.5% during November, December and the first two weeks of January versus the same period a year ago, according to Liquor Control Board of Ontario spokesman Chris Layton. Such an increase is “pretty significant,” he says, even though red wine sales have been trending up consistently over the past 15 years. Still, sales of cabernet sauvignon, for instance, only rose 3% in the same period.
Similar growth in sales has been reported elsewhere. She attributes the rapid growth in sales of pinot noir to the praise it receives in the acclaimed film, "Sideways":

[M]oviegoers’ enthusiasm for the film has resulted in what The New YorkTimes has coined “the Sideways effect.” On the basis of anecdotal evidence, the Times estimated thismonth that pinot noir sales in Manhattan have risen 20% since the film was released in October. Onestore in Union Square reported selling 100 cases over the holiday period, up from 50 the year before.
For the handful of you who’ve not yet seen it, Sideways is the tale of
two buddies on a tasting tour of California’s Santa Inez wine country. The main character, Miles, views himself as an oenophile, a word that can be, as it is in his case, synonymous with “bore.” He’s given to irritating wine-speak: He talks of getting a “soupçon of asparagus” from one wine and dismisses another as “quaffable but far from transcendent.” His grand passion, one he shares with many other oenophiles, is pinot noir. He dismisses other wines out of hand and is particularly disdainful of that crowd-pleaser, merlot. “If anyone orders merlot, I’m leaving,” he says at one point. “I’m not drinking any f---ing merlot.”
If I were traveling with someone who has this attitude, I might consider ordering merlot or some other plonk just to get the snob to leave. In the end, though, I don't really care all that much. The only thing that matters to me is, "Does the bottle have a screw-top cap [thanks, Cynthia]?"
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