You can use literally anything to decant a bottle of wine. I mean ANYTHING! Like, even a blender!
That’s just one of the many useful pieces of wine knowledge I have gained from the excellent freshman reality show “Uncorked,” which is winding up its six-week run on Esquire Network (10 p.m. Tuesdays, two episodes to go).
The premise is simple but reveals complex flavors and subtle undertones: Six wine fanatics prepare to take an exam to become an MS. Sorry to be so insidery: MS stands for Master Sommelier. There are only around 200 of them on Earth. To become one you have to take what one of the show’s characters says is “the most difficult test in the world.” How difficult is it? Well, for starters, you have to be able to sip unfamiliar wine and figure out the grape variety, the specific village it came from, the year it was produced and also what to compare it to (baby spittle? Nilla Wafers?) and what to serve it with.
The test takers are sweet-natured millennials, especially visibly nervous Dana Gaiser who previously flunked the MS text twice and has dubious fashion taste (I mean, a salmon-colored blazer, really?). Gaiser’s nerves get the better of him when speaking to wine guru Daniel Boulud in a fab California restaurant by the Pacific. Gaiser blurts out, “Look, there’s whales out there.”
Tsk, tsk, a master sommelier should not be distracted by marine mammals.
I’m tuning in not only to see if anyone passes the test but to figure out how to make smart choices about holiday beverages! One somm advises that for a champagne alternative, try cava, a sparkling variant produced in Spain with “the same complexity for half the price.”
Read more of Marc’s TV musings: