When the Oscar-winning Sideways hit international movie theatres it showcased pinot noir wine as a wine for real wine lovers. Before the movie, many wine drinkers wouldn’t give a glass of pinot noir a second sip.

Sideways is the story of two 40-ish buddies — Miles and Jack— taking a road trip through California wine country prior to Jack’s impending marriage. Their aim is to steep themselves in everything that makes it good to be carefree and single: pinot noir, golfing and cruising bars. If you haven’t seen this perceptive fun movie, it is currently running on Disney+.

The novel Sideways is the first of a trilogy by American writer Rex Pickett. The second, Vertical, tracks the continuing story of Miles and Jack seven years later. Miles has written a novel that has been made into a wildly successful movie, and the movie has changed his life: and Sideways 3 Chile which finds Miles running out of money, but still surviving on the echoes of past, but fleeting, fame. Then a new opportunity arises to write for a magazine about the diverse wine regions of Chile.

Rex Pickett recently visited New Zealand. Influenced and inspired by his travels around the country’s wine regions, he is delighted to share his collection of Sideways New Zealand wines. Each was selected by Rex for its distinctive characteristics and top quality — a task he enjoyed immensely in a country renowned for its terroirs and superb winemaking.

Rex Pickett’s Sideways New Zealand range comprises six unique wines:

Sideways Wairarapa Pinot Noir 2020
Sideways Reserve Wairarapa Pinot Noir 2020
Sideways Central Otago Pinot Noir 2020
Sideways Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2021
Sideways Central Otago Pinot Gris 2019
Sideways Central Otago Rose 2021

So far I’ve enjoyed two of the wines. The Sideways Wairarapa Pinot Noir 2020 ($28.99) combines subtle aromas of raspberry, blackberry and herbs with a taste of chocolate, cherry and spice. Excellent served with roast or grilled lamb or duck.

The rich, strong fruit-flavoured Sideways Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2021 (28.99) has flavours of ripe melon, nectarine and peach with hints of oak and spice. I enjoyed it with a creamy pasta and chicken dish but it would also be excellent with slow-roasted pork.

Rex Pickett’s Sideways New Zealand range is available from: www.blackmarket.co.nz


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