Award winning actor, writer and director, Stanley Tucci (The Devil Wears Prada, Julie and Julia, The Lovely Bones), is bringing his excellent taste in food, wine and culture to a new public television series called VINE TALK premiering on April 7th.
Using his A-list Hollywood connections, the bald-but-smart-hot Tucci will host celebrity guests on each episode and lead them in a series of blind taste tests. Already confirmed for season one is a diverse list of talent including: John Lithgow, Jennifer Coolidge, Patricia Clarkson, Penn Badgely, Rosie Perez, Julianne Moore, Steve Buscemi and Nathan Lane. The guests will sample wines from various regions around the world that change weekly, and will compare their favorite selections with the choices picked by the live studio audience.
VINE TALK will be taped live in New York City's WNET Studios at Lincoln Center and hopes to break the mold of past wine-focused television programming. According to a press release statement from Tucci, "It has not taken long to determine that most anyone can come together, enjoy almost any type of wine, engage in compelling conversation – and even pick up good basic wine education in the process."
VINE TALK was created by long-time public television producer, Bruce Marcus, who felt there was a gap in current wine television offerings, saying "I created VINE TALK because the subject of wine is unapproachable for many people. What we've created is a comfortable and welcoming environment – for both the celebrities in the studio and the audience at home."
VINE TALK's chief wine expert is Food & Wine's Executive Wine Editor, Ray Isle, who along with a rotating roster of expert sommeliers, will be on hand to discuss wines, how they're made and the differences the regions make, as well as answer any questions from the celebrities, studio audience or the host himself.
Wines are indeed a growing interest for many market segments. We recently attended an event in LA called Wine Riot, aimed at educating a 20-something demographic about wines and regions, and there are a number of studies that suggest red wine has numerous health benefits.
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Photo: VINE TALK