Austin, Pop Culture

Everything I Know About Wine I Learned From Sideways


Tonight I’m nervously speaking at the event, “Georges Duboeuf’s Beaujolais & Burgers: A Night of Perfect Pairing“, with wine writer/entrepreneur Mark Oldman at Parkside.

This should be interesting considering my entire wine knowledge can be traced to the film Sideways.

All I know is that Merlot is wrong. I don’t drink Merlot because Paul Giamatti told me not to.

Truthfully, when I first read the word “Beaujolais”, I thought it was a new clothing boutique on 2nd street.

I can’t act my way out of a paper bag, but I’ve perfected the art of acting like I know a thing or two about wine. If you find yourself at a wine tasting, remember the four S’s:

1.) Swirl

2.) Sniff

3.) Sip

4.) Speculate

The most important part of acting like you know something about wine is the “speculate” part. Furrow your eyebrows and look off into the distance as if deep in thought about what you just drank. If someone asks you want you think about the wine, mumble the words “pencil shavings” and “liveliness”, but say it with a very confident look on your face. If they ask you exactly what you mean, reply with, “What do YOU think I mean?” At that point they should leave you alone.

Luckily, the event didn’t ask me to speak about my impressive wine knowledge or even about burgers (though I could probably talk your ear off about burgers). No, they invited me to talk about the dos and don’ts of dating and about perfect pairings… like Beaujolais and Burgers!

And I do have a thing or two to say about dating. Especially when I’m two glasses of wine deep.

I’m a little nervous. Hopefully I’ll get to enjoy some of the wine before I have to speak

Wish me luck!




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  • Reply Ludwig September 19, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    I’m so jealous! GDB Beaujolais was one of the first red wines I tried and liked when I started to enjoy reds. Knock back a couple extra glasses for me.

  • Reply B. September 19, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    First: Love the title (and that film).

    And best of luck! I’m sure you’ll do fine on the dating discussion! If they do throw you into some unexpected wine knowledge test – say something like “hints of tobacco” and “has citrus notes.” That’s about all I got! LOL.

  • Reply Carol September 19, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    Make it interesting – have three glasses of wine before you speak.

  • Reply Tolly September 20, 2012 at 10:54 am

    Um, you will LOVE Mark Oldman. I saw him at Austin Food + Wine Fest in April, and he charmed the pants off all the ladies in his tent. (I’m serious; several ladies wanted to leave their pants behind and go home with Mark.)

    Anyway, I have something that may help you out Lauren…a video interview with Rex Pickett I did a while back. Rex wrote Sideways!

  • Reply Leigh Ann September 20, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    Sideways is one of my FAVORITE movies, and no one else gets it! They can’t see past the infidelity to see the humor in the movie. Love it. Good luck!

  • Reply Young Urban Amateur September 21, 2012 at 9:12 am

    Aw I’m late… hope it went well! It sounds/sounded like a fun speaking engagement!

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