Vine Talk on PBS. Public Service or Self-Serving?

I don’t need to remind you how much I love all things wine. I drink it, I think it, and I talk about it to anyone who will listen. Wine shows and videos have been around for a while now, and they can provide a dimension of information that tasting notes can’t fulfill.  So why, when I found this wine show on PBS, do I feel so empty?

Here is the premise of Vine Talk. A celebrity panel hosted by Stanley Tucci blind tastes 6 wines. The studio ‘audience’ (fake audience because they are on a different floor of the building and are watching by closed circuit TV) tastes the same wines. Each group selects their favorite which is reveled at closing of the show.

Nothing is wrong with the format, it’s the execution they need to work on. The last two shows I watched, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc, both ended without any discussion of the last few wines!  I can imagine how disappointed those wineries were!  If a cooking show showed you the ingredients, and then the finished product, you’d feel jipped, right? Same thing here.

If anyone from the show is listening, here are a few suggestions:

  • Have some feedback from the audience woven into the show.  We are interested in hearing what they think of each wine presented.
  • Edit out some of the Celebrity ‘non-wine’ chit chat that is eating up the precious air time.  It’s super that all these Celeb’s are getting together, but they go so far off topic, they eat up too much air time with their banter.
  • Invite Celebrities who have actually know how to drink a glass of wine.  A 30 minute show promoting six wines needs a basic understanding of how to drink wine. I noted one ‘not-to-be-named ‘ Celebrity, took a swig out of the glass, and then made an ‘I-don’t-like-it-face’. There wasn’t even an attempt to sniff, swirl, sip!!  We sip wine, we don’t ‘swig it’. No need to be an expert, but if they are on a panel, at least get the sipping down right, and then tell us why you don’t like it. That is just as important to us!

Good luck with the growing pains of the new show. I’ll keep watching, if you keep pouring!

About Wine Everyday

Eileen Gross is a 1983 Graduate of Fordham University and retired Financial Professional. She is wine lover, traveler, and collector who shares her wine experiences with private wine tastings and on her blog “Wine Everyday." She is a member of the Society of Wine Educators, The Wine Century Club and a contributor at
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