Uncorked: First Taste
In this first episode, we discover what wine is by meeting the people who make it, write about it, cook with it and of course - drink it. We learn how wine happens by talking with winemakers and grape growers. We'll meet Lettie Teague, executive wine editor for Food & Wine Magazine and her good friend Peter Travers, film critic for Rolling Stone Magazine. Lettie is the author of "Educating Peter" (releases April 2007), a humorous account of how Lettie educated the "most wine ignorant man she knew" (aka Peter Travers) about wine. We'll learn how the four senses we use to taste wine and compare tasting notes on the ten top grape varieties used in wine making. We'll also define some important wine terminology and explore the world's most well-known wine producing regions.
Uncorked: Napa Valley
Napa is the premier wine-producing region of the United States and while great wine is produced in other parts of California, Napa Valley boasts an extraordinary list of famous wineries and wine makers. In this episode, we learn what makes Cabernet Sauvignon the undisputed king of Napa Valley. We visit a winery built with Hapsburg era stones imported from Austria, and the American Center for Food & Wine; and adult Disney World of wine and food. We also recreate the famous Paris Tasting of 1976. This sleepy little event pits France's best wines against American wines in a blind tasting at the storied Intercontinental Hotel in Paris, France. What started out as a decidedly unserious Bicentennial promotional ended up launching California billion dollar wine industry.
Heading north over San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge we head up the coast to Sonoma. We learn how an eccentric Hungarian immigrant helped launch fine wine production in California. We meet Merry Edwards, one of California's first women wine makers who has a passion for the finicky pinot noir grape - in fact - she's the self-appointed queen of pinot. We find out why Pinot Noir grapes are making headlines and why this delicate grape is difficult to grow. We also learn about new vineyard growing practices like biodynamics and the process used to make sparkling wine.
Uncorked: Central Coast
In this episode we explore the quintessential Zinfandel country of Paso Robles and the clean fruit-driven Chardonnays of Edna Valley. We'll meet the Haas family of California who partnered with the Chateauneuf du Pape producing Perrin family to bring Rhone Valley styles wine to California's central coast. We'll also meet attend a classic car rally run by a mechanic turned winemaker to find out what happens when your passion for wine competes for your day job. We'll attend the 14th annual Hospice du Rhone event, the largest celebration of Rhone wines in the world, and visit the Central Coast's Edna Valley where the cool climate and marine sediment in the soil has earned the region's winemakers a reputation for producing outstanding chardonnays in the classic Burgundy style.
Uncorked: France, Part One
For most Americans, the wines of France are shrouded in mystery. But ask consumers where the best wine comes from and the answer is as clear as the glass in their hand. In this episode we head into the heart of the vineyard and the mind of the winemaker to learn about France's most famous export. We'll uncover centuries of winemaking traditions and find out how the wines of France are made and sold. We'll learn how soil, climate and location influence the way wine tastes. The French call this concept of place "terroir" - and it's key to understanding the wines of France. We also find out how French wines are made and categorized, which grape varieties are used, and France's most important winemaking regions.
Uncorked: France, Part Two
In this episode we travel to four of Frances most important wine producing regions. Our first stop is the Loire Valley where we visit centuries' old chateaux to find out why Sancerre wines made from the Sauvignon Blanc grape are so exceptional. We head east to Burgundy where the region's dramatic past is as well known as its red wine. But we'll also taste Burgundy's whites from the vineyards of Puligny-Montrachet. We'll explore the landscape of Van Gogh in Southern France; meet winemakers in France's legendary Chateanuef du Pape region and talk with a new breed of French winemakers who look to the New World for inspiration.