Film and TV

Films for Foodies (and Winos): Sideways

Movie studios scramble to have big-name stars headline their films, but in many of my favorite movies, food is the star. Few things are better than pairing a foodie film with a great meal so we can enjoy ourselves just as much as the folks onscreen are enjoying their own aliments. In this series, we'll highlight a movie in which food plays a leading role and suggest one or more local spots to provide an accompanying feast for you. Pull up a table and dim the lights, the show's about to begin.

Sideways (2004)

Synopsis Ah, the road-trip film. Road trips are a staple of cinematic plot lines, and Sideways offers up an alternately depressing and hilarious one set against the backdrop of the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley.

Miles Raymond (Paul Giamatti) is a depressed, divorced, borderline alcoholic writer and wine-lover who embarks on a weeklong trip with his buddy, Jack (Thomas Hayden Church), a failed actor. Jack is soon to be married, and Miles, the best man, wants to go on a trip through wine country for a relaxing bachelor party, and Jack wants one last fling before he's a married man, so the two decide to hit the road in Miles's convertible and tour a few wineries with which Miles, a veritable wino, is already fairly familiar.

During the trip, they stop at the Hitching Post, a restaurant where Miles has often come to eat and to admire Maya (Virginia Madsen), a waitress. With Jack's help, he strikes up a conversation with Maya and finally gets to know more about her. The next day, Jack and Miles meet Stephanie (Sandra Oh), a pour girl at a local winery, and upon discovering that she and Maya are friends, the men arrange a double date.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Kaitlin Steinberg