The Winemakers: The ‘Big Brother’ of Wine


The Winemakers is coming to PBS this fall, a six-part reality series shot in Paso Robles, California, that pits 12 wannabe winemakers against each other. The contestants include a lawyer, a teacher, and a marketer, who must compete in such challenges as working a crush and pouring in a tasting room. The grand prize is the chance to launch a private wine label.

Wine magazine Decanter has called the show “the ‘Big Brother’ of wine,” although it remains to be seen if the often stuffy world of winemaking (as spoofed in the recently released Corked!) will offer the sort of melodrama that makes for good reality TV. The show will have a roster of celebrity judges — although the “celebrity” part is definitely limited to certain wine-drinking circles: Mark Oldman, author of Oldman’s Guide to Outsmarting Wine, Leslie Sbrocco, author of The Simple & Savvy Wine Guide, Lettie Teague wine writer for Food & Wine, and Doug Frost, Master of Wine.

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 12, 2009

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