Films for Foodies (and Winos): Sideways
Why this is a foodie film
Sideways is, of course, more tangentially about wine than it is about food, but wine and food go so well together. This is a film not only for foodies, but also for wine lovers and gourmands and people who enjoy fine writing and acting.
The food plays a supporting role to the wine, which is discussed in great detail, and with a lot of actual wine knowledge behind it. Miles, in particular, can riff on varietals for hours, often boring his friends, but at the same time spouting a lot of interesting tidbits, particularly about Pinot Noir (as you'll see in the clips below).
The film also shows several wine-tasting rooms and the tasting process. Some of the scenes are exaggerated for comedy, but in general, the depictions of wineries are accurate, and they help you realize just how comedic wine tasting can be.
Best food scene
Note: It's really difficult to find good clips from Sideways on Youtube. Sorry. The second clip takes place immediately after the first, but for some reason, no one has merged them into one on Youtube.
Another great scene, which you can see here, involves Jack giving Miles a pep talk before the men join the women for dinner. If you've ever heard anyone say, "I'm not drinking any fucking Merlot!" this is where it comes from.
What you should eat/drink
Wine, of course! Though there aren't any great wineries at which you can get the full counter tasting and spitting experience here in Houston, there are dozens of wine bars. Two of my favorites are 13 Celsius and Camerata, both of which have an incredibly knowledgeable staff (like, just as knowledgeable as Miles, but less annoying), a great wine selection and good eats to go along with the vino.
At 13 Celsius, you can get one of my 100 favorite dishes and a glass of wine served by our Best of Houston® Best Sommelier winner from 2013. At Camerata, our favorite wine bar, enjoy sandwiches from Paulie's as well as other small bites and special dishes prepared by Felipe Riccio, a chef who also pours wine. Sidenote: Camerata plays sound clips about wine from films and stand-up routines in the bathrooms. Sometimes you can hear Miles yelling about not drinking "any fucking merlot" while you pee.
Both are great spots to sit and sip and learn about wine, or to pull a Miles and drink too much and then embarrass yourself in front of the ladies. We do not condone the latter option.