Richard and Judy – the first couple of UK daytime TV – plan to do for wine drinking what they did for reading.
The married couple, who have hosted a daytime TV show since 1988 and are unquestionably the best-known daytime presenters in the UK, are starting a wine club with the aim of ‘empowering’ neophyte drinkers who are intimidated by traditional wine experts.
And if the success of their book club is anything to go by, wine merchants across the country should pay special attention to their stock.
The book club – in which featured books are discussed by a panel on the show – has caused several titles to shoot to the top of the bestseller lists. One example was The Star of the Sea by Joseph O’Connor, which earlier this year went from 337 in the bestseller lists to number one in a matter of days, after being described by Bob Geldof as ‘a masterpiece.’
Now, over the following six weeks, Richard and Judy’s Wine Club will sample wines chosen according to a series of themes including Barrelling and Oaking, Blending and Classic Reds, and Rosés.
Audiences at home are encouraged to buy the wines in advance and taste them along with a panel of experts on the Channel 4 show.
‘We want to encourage more people to drink wine without having to listen to verbose wine experts, who can be intimidating,’ producer Amanda Ross told decanter.com. ‘We want it to be inclusive, and empowering.’
The wines have been chosen in association with Bristol merchants Averys. The features will be presented by veteran TV host Anna Ryder Richardson, who ‘has been drinking her way round Europe… [and] visited six award winning growers who will tell us the secrets of their amazing wines from the harvest, through cellaring and bottling, to the best partnerships of wine with food,’ the show’s website says.
Written by Adam Lechmere