Wine Generously Poured Into Highly Palatable Film

Sideways, the new film from Alexander Payne, won several Golden Globes last night. I’ll leave the artistic judgments to more qualified voices, but allow me to point out how well this film markets wine, and specifically Santa Barbara County wineries like Firestone, Foxen, Fess Parker and Kalyra.
Actually, the lead character Miles, an ornery oenophile, disdains Fess Parker, but he adores the others.
Fox Searchlight does a seamless job of integrated marketing, making a map to all the locations in the film available for download from the studio’s site.
For me, it calls to mind Jay McInerney’s 1980s novel, Bright Lights Big City, and how fans of the book would frequent the bars of lower Manhattan looking to live the written experience for themselves. Of course, McInerney’s publisher did not provide a map, but that was then. If the book was coming out today, they well might.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. I sure hope none of those wineries are producing lots of merlot, otherwise they won’t be able to even give it away to someone who learns about wine watching Sideways.
    Great movie, and did anyone else think it felt like it could’ve been a sequel to “Swingers” –15 years later in the life of Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn’s characters?

  2. Good call on the Swingers reference.
    The film offers a pretty ugly, but honest, look at how guys too often relate (or don’t relate) to women.
    As for merlot, I think it’ll be fine. Wine snobs be damned.