Dear Cabby-

It’s been over a decade and the shadow cast by Sideways still has me averting eye contact when mentioning Merlot. Fear. Shame. Scandal. How long must I wear this scarlet letter?

Hopelessly devoted,

Petra in Pomerol



It’s time to cast away the chains. For years, those who sipped Merlot, did so in private. A 2007 paper published in the Journal for Psychological Sipping, detailed challenges Merlot lovers faced with The Sideways effect. Here, a series of double blind studies indicated Merlot drinkers were four times more likely to refer to their wine as a red Bordeaux. 17% of participants showed increase heart rate and 11% complained of difficulty with sleep following conversations about the grape.

But, as a frizzy haired poet with a voice of sand once sang, “The times they are a changin’”. Merlot lovers are mad as hiccups and they aren’t going to take it anymore. Though sample sizes are small, recent studies indicate “The Right Bank Red Scare” is over as Merlot lovers are more confident in social drinking situations and 52% are showing outward displays of affection for the grape. Thomas Broadpalate says, “I’m seeing fewer raised eyebrows. Last week at a dinner party, the host featured two different Merlots and not a single bottle of Pinot was served.”

This is your time Petra to let the Merlot shine. The moon is in the Seventh House and Jupiter is aligned with Mars. Mystic crystal revelations of Merlot, Cab Franc and Petit Verdot are upon us. May you toast long and proud.