“The Winemakers”, “Green Wine” & Wine & Sex

Lots of wine related stuff to be discussed tonight.  But lets begin with the upcoming reality show; “The Winemakers”. Promoted as “Twelve men and women compete for a chance to create and launch their own wine label nationwide. In each episode they will face challenges on every aspect of wine making from viticulture and enology to sales and marketing, but in the end only one contestant will win the title of Wine Maker.”

The first season was filmed 2 years ago (I think) and is to air this fall on PBS.  I read a press release last week that they were holding an open call for contestants for season 2, to be filmed this September – harvest season.  Not having a clue what I was getting myself into,  I canceled an appointment and went down to the call.

WHOA.  I walked into the location at about 3PM wearing shorts & a t-shirt (it was a HOT & HUMID summer day in NYC) and having not shaved for several days (not uncommon for me).  People were all dressed up, scoping out the competition, and dressed to impress.  The producers had us sign release forms and the audition was taped, possibly to be used for the show.  They called us up in groups of 4, situated in front of the show’s judges, and fired away with personality and wine related questions.

Well, unfortunately this story does not end with me writing about how I was picked to be on the show.  The nice (read FOOLISH) producers passed on humble ole’ Wine Tasting Guy, but they did pick 3 people I got friendly with on this hot summer afternoon.  And I was really happy for my new friends.  Can’t wait to watch them on the show.  And who knows, maybe I’ll be mocked either on their site or possibly even on an episode where they show the contestants being chosen.

Getting back to WTG stuff, I read a bunch of articles about “green wine” over the weekend.


OK, not that green wine.  Rather wine produced with the environment taken into consideration.  With my recent series about bag-in-box & bag-in-barrel wines, I covered a little about “green wine”.  Among the articles I read over the weekend was one by Jerry Hirsh of the LA Times who wrote about wine bottles in plastic bottles, calling the winery “Chateau Plastique”.

Some of what makes wine in plastic bottles “green wine” is its smaller carbon footprint.  Hirsh, quoting Patrick Field of EnVino, a plastic wine bottle venture in Burlingame, CA explains that “plastic wine containers weigh about one-eighth of regular glass bottles and take up 20% less space.  Thereby saving on shipping costs by allowing 30% more wine to be delivered by the trucks that typically carry the wine.”

Also of interest is that the “bottles have a special layer designed to keep oxygen from permeating the container and destroying the wine. But it’s not the iron-tight seal that glass provides, so bottles will come with “use by” dates.”

People might wonder about these “use by” dates, as all wine should be aged, right?  Well actually, most wines are made to be consumed young (within the first few years after their production).  I read that the number was close to 95% of wines that are intended for early consumption.  I would take this a step further and say that of the wines that are not necessarily intended for early consumption, somewhere in the area of 50% are consumed young anyway.  So what we are saying here is that about 2-3% of all wines are BOTH intended to be aged and actually are aged.  So for those wines we really want to bottle and protect them in glass bottles.  As to the rest…alternative packaging baby!!

And finally, sex sells.  So I thought I’d finish up this longer than usual blog with a bit on red wine improving people’s sex lives – or at least those of Tuscan women.  In a report written about on Wine Spectator online, a study in the October issue of the Journal of Sexual medicine,  “Women who drank one or two glasses of red wine a day scored higher on a questionnaire focused on sexual health and enjoyment.”  While I advocate for wine drinking, I found the study seemed to be reaching, as it noted that “adherence to the Mediterranean diet improves cardiovascular health, and this is likely due to the inclusion of a glass or two of red wine per day. Cardiovascular health has long been linked to sexual health.”  I’m not sure that I am a believer, but hey, what the heck…just drink wine!

Happy reality winemaking, environmentally conscience & sexually improving wine tasting!


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