Tasting wine against the clock

Here’s a brief observation, just for fun, concerning my recent post about the return of wine to British mainstream television.

What can you say about wine in 3 minutes and 14 seconds?

BBC Food & Drink - rushing their wine

BBC Food & Drink – rushing their wine

The BBC has relaunched the Food & Drink programme, and to their credit have recruited not only a highly regarded, skilled Chef in Michel Roux Jr. but, unlike other food programmes, also hired a permanent wine presenter, Kate Goodman.

In the first episode I was excited to hear Kate present and discuss Dao wines from Portugal, and stand up for German Riesling. Each region got a decent, if rather general, coverage.

This week, we had sparkling wines from two regions side by side, Prosecco and English Sparkling wine, and the merest whiff about Madeira (though enough to make me wish I had some at home).

As I said on twitter, I will not complain about the choice of wines (I think they are fine in fact, even if one could argue that there are many other styles of sparkling wine that might go well with Afternoon Tea) but it was obvious that the coverage of the wines was rather limited and even more general.

Start your stopwatches

In the interests of research, I timed any mention of “drink” (covering not only wine) in the programmes to see what percentage of the show was dedicated to the “& Drink” part of the name, not just “Food”. The results were:

  • Episode 1: 4 minutes, 11 seconds (or 14% of the running time of 30 minutes) – including discussion of spiced apple juice and cider
  • Episode 2: 3 minutes, 14 seconds (or 11%¬†of the running time of 30 minutes) – including 46 seconds about tea

Several people I spoke to on Twitter mentioned how brief the wine coverage seemed to be in this format, and it seems a waste to have a co-presenter who is so under-utilised.

Let’s hope the format develops, including getting extra air-time and therefore more scope to include useful details on wine.


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1 Comment
  • thirstforwine
    February 13, 2013

    One more statistic to put this in context:

    the lovely, unique and under-appreciated Madeira got all of 25 seconds of coverage (and no real comments on taste). The chit-chat and mock-horror of drinking tea from a mug as opposed to a china cup, received 46 seconds.

    I appreciate that this is all “Drink” but I don’t feel the tea discussion added anything (it wasn’t even a special tea), so it was a missed opportunity to say something more about Madeira.

    end of rant