Miles: "Let me show you how this is done. First thing, hold the glass up and examine the wine against the light. You're looking for color and clarity. Just, get a sense of it. OK? Uhh, thick? Thin? Watery? Syrupy? OK? Alright. Now, tip it. What you're doing here is checking for color density as it thins out towards the rim. Uhh, that's gonna tell you how old it is, among other things. It's usually more important with reds. OK? Now, stick your nose in it. Don't be shy, really get your nose in there. Mmm . . . a little citrus . . . maybe some strawberry . . . passion fruit . . . and, oh, there's just like the faintest soupçon of like asparagus and just a flutter of a, like a, nutty Edam cheese . . .”
Jack: "Wow. Strawberries, yeah! Strawberries. Not the cheese . . ."
Miles: "I like all varietals. I just don't generally like the way they manipulate chardonnay in California. Too much oak and secondary malolactic fermentation."
Jack: "Did you drink and dial?"
Jack: "Man! That's tasty!"
Miles: "That's 100% pinot noir. Single vineyard. They don't even make it any more."
Jack: "Pinot noir?"
Jack: "Then how come it's white?"
Miles: "Oh, Jesus. Don't ask questions like that up in wine country. They'll think you're some kind of dumbshit, OK?"
Maya: "You know, the day you open a '61 Cheval Blanc . . . that's the special occasion."
Maya: "Why are you so in to Pinot? . . . I mean, it's like a thing with you."
Miles: "Uh, I don't know, I don't know. Um, it's a hard grape to grow, as you know. Right? It's uh, it's thin-skinned, temperamental, ripens early. It's, you know, it's not a survivor like Cabernet, which can just grow anywhere and uh, thrive even when it's neglected. No, Pinot needs constant care and attention. You know? And in fact it can only grow in these really specific, little, tucked away corners of the world. And, and only the most patient and nurturing of growers can do it, really. Only somebody who really takes the time to understand Pinot's potential can then coax it into its fullest expression. Then, I mean, oh its flavors, they're just the most haunting and brilliant and thrilling and subtle and . . . ancient on the planet."
Jack: "If they want to drink Merlot, we’re drinking Merlot."
Miles: "No, if anyone orders Merlot, I'm leaving. I am NOT drinking any fucking Merlot!"
Stephanie: "So what do you think?"
Miles: "Mmm. Quaffable. But, uh, far from transcendent."
Jack: "I like it. Tastes great."
Maya: "I like to think about the life of wine . . . How it's a living thing. I like to think about what was going on the year the grapes were growing; how the sun was shining; if it rained. I like to think about all the people who tended and picked the grapes. And if it's an old wine, how many of them must be dead by now. I like how wine continues to evolve, like if I opened a bottle of wine today it would taste different than if I'd opened it on any other day, because a bottle of wine is actually alive. And it's constantly evolving and gaining complexity. That is, until it peaks, like your '61. And then it begins its steady, inevitable decline . . . And it tastes so fucking good."
Miles: "It tastes like the back of a fucking L.A. school bus. Now they probably didn't de-stem, hoping for some semblance of concentration, crushed it up with leaves and mice, and then wound up with this rancid tar and turpentine bullshit. Fuckin' Raid."
Jack: "Tastes pretty good to me."