The first episode of The Wine Show hits UK screens this Sunday and Decanter.com caught up with co-presenter Amelia Singer in London to find out more and get a sneak preview of the first episode.
The Wine Show is scheduled to debut on the ITV 4 channel this Sunday, 10 April. Can it succeed where other attempts to create compelling viewing around wine have failed?
The format for show has been revised and refined since Infinity Creative Media created the first pilot programmes with presenters Joe Fattorini and Amelia Singer.
In March, Decanter.com reported that The Wine Show had added actors Matthew Goode and Matthew Rhys to the line up and had been picked up by the UK based channel ITV – they also have ambitions to take the show to the US and international audience.
Wine-based television, for many years, has been relegated behind food shows. Wine often features as a passing segment in popular cooking programmes.
Chefs and food critics have become household names, where wine writers have been sadly left a little in the shadows in the mass media. No one has cracked the magic formula for bringing wine to life on the television screen.
With that in mind, I had originally feared a watered down offering from The Wine Show aimed at the ITV majority audience. Thankfully, The Wine Show balanced enough good wine content, alongside mass appeal, to really entertain wine lovers. It’s composition is a blend of a travel, history and a wine show.
Based in a villa surrounded by the Umbrian countryside, the two Matthews represent the average wine consumer – one with an interest in wine and one who sees wine as a bit of fun. Joe Fattorini, described at one point as ‘Obi Wine Kenobi’, paints the frustrated wine tutor trying to enlighten the pair on their journey of learning. Amelia Singer features as a roving reporter visiting and exploring different wine regions.
The first episode blends a fascinating history lesson of Klein Constantia with Hans Astrom, an interview based around the love of Nuits-Saint-Georges with chef Brad McDonald from The Lockhart in London, a guide to Montepulciano in Tuscany and winemaking processes from Margaux and the Clare Valley. When a wine show is teaching the audience about ‘punching down the cap’ in winemaking, you know it has a serious side.
One slight concern I had was the show had something of modern day Downtown Abbey about the whole set up, to unashamedly use a series from Matthew Goode’s past – without the downstairs help.
Whilst a trip to Some Young Punks was an attempt to show wine should appeal to everyone, it still typecast wine as a jolly well-to-do play toy, which may put off some ITV viewers.
Nevertheless, The Wine Show is a genuinely interesting new series for any wine lover, and it is wonderful to see wine added to the television landscape. I hope it does well and opens up the wonders of the wine to a whole new audience for the future.
The Wine Show airs on Sunday 10th April, 6.55pm on ITV4 and moves to ITV on Saturday 16th April