Wine Survivor: Reality Show "The Winemakers" Debuts This Weekend


I must admit that I haven't been much of a fan of reality tv. I prefer my entertainment to be of the made-up variety. As much as I love food and cooking, the cheftality tv shows have been pretty horrendous. Watching Gordon Ramsay turn red while yelling at idiots is fun for about five seconds. And witnessing Padma and Tom Collichio's eternal scowls and disapproving head shaking is as inviting as cold oatmeal.

But, I must say, I'm pretty excited to check out The Winemakers, a new show, which begins airing this Sunday at 7 PM on KQED Life (Comcast Channel 189). For one, wine is obviously a subject near and dear to my heart. Two, I know most the judges and even have met one or more of the contestants. It's always fun to see how people you know come across (or don't) on screen.

On the other hand, I have some apprehensions about how the show will turn out. Challenges like eating bugs make for dramatic television on shows like survivor. Or even cooking for a wedding reception on three hours notice as we've seen on Top Chef. But wine and winemaking is not a field that's particularly prone to drama or instant gratification. Fermentations take days, not minutes. Aging takes months. Are they going to have races through the winery to see who can make the tartaric acid additions fastest? Are they going to have endurance tests like last-man standing in a tank trampling grapes? The most suspense may come from seeing whether or not the producers can squeeze the drama out of something as plodding as making wine.

Either way, my dvr is set. We can discuss the show next week.

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