This article contains information that could be considered too revealing according to our spoiler policy. Proceed with caution. You can't unsee it!Reason HULU RELEASED THE WHOLE SEASON THE SAME DAY; IT'S ALSO AIRED IN THE UK ALREADY.
The Wine Show Bends The Rules
Which 'guidelines' are made to be broken, and which are there for a reason?
The one rule of The Wine Show is "Always Be Matthews," but Episode 11 can't resist breaking that rule, even more than the rest of them, and celebrating rebels and rule-breakers of all types. On a scale of "Getting off easy" to "Guilty as charged," how do this episode's segments stack up?
- Nothing to see here
So, if you're Matthew Goode, at what point is it weird to publicly call out possible security issues in a location that you did not personally visit and don't seem familiar with, and where the root causes of the possible security issues stem from historical policies of people who look very much like you? And at what point is it even weirder if it's actually not a problem, so the conversation is either unproductive or strangely pointed?
In segment one, Joe covers Township Winery in South Africa, a housing project and winery intended to build up the economy of the township of Philippi as it recovers post-apartheid. The residents of Philippi grow the vines and hope to have jobs in winemaking as the winery grows; Joe "helps" a woman plant a few vines in her front yard. Back in the villa, Goodie asks, with weird specificity, whether there's ever trouble with security in Philippi -- people vandalizing the vines. Answer: there is not! The people of Philippi understand the potential of the winery to provide jobs in the future and respect the five local women who run the winery. Is this supposed to be feel-good information? Did somebody tell him to ask that question? Am I supposed to be high-fiving Township Winery for having local leadership, or the residents of Philippi for not undermining the project? Thanks for asking, Goodie, but it sounds like they've got it sorted.
- Bow-chicka-butler's "friend"
In the gadget segment, Joe introduces us to the Butler's Friend. In theory, this two-pronged manual device can remove a stuck or cracked cork or remove a cork without leaving a hole -- allowing Mr. Carson to sample the goods on tough days without anyone being the wiser when it's time to open the bottle. (Not that he would; he has standards.) In Joe's hands, it's…something else? "You just gently ease it in…with a sort of see-saw action," says Joe, pressing the prongs into the space between the cork and the bottle with a tenderness and intensity that's truly touching. He then rocks it back and forth for a while and pops the cork out with a flourish, and the fact that the only reaction from the Matthews is Rhysie's raised eyebrows means they are not nearly tipsy enough.
- Pin-oh no!
In Umbria, Joe is horrified and thrilled to meet a Frenchman growing finicky Pinot Noir grapes several hundred miles south of the region where they're usually grown; it should be too hot for them. This man is basically the Leader of the Pack meets James Dean meets Judd Nelson in The Breakfast Club, as far as Joe is concerned, and he is REAL excited to be Natalie Wood/Ally Sheedy. But wait! This dude's rule-breaking actually pays off (with help from high altitude and volcanic soil), and he makes some wine that's unlike any other Pinot in the world.
- Library in a winery?
Joe has been to wineries all over the world, but he's never seen one with a library inside -- he can't tell if it's cool or "just bizarre." Like, soooo weird. These people must be some kind of hippie crazies, putting things to read in the pleasantly cool, fruity-boozy-smelling place where they produce the thing they love, and that also earns them their living. Why would anybody want to hang out down there, where it smells like wine, which definitely nobody likes? Joe is perplexed. Honestly, it's not even that many books.
- These are their (fake-wine) stories
A short film that someone lifted from a revival of America's Most Wanted: Fight Back for Fancy Wine tells us all about Rudy Kurniawan, the perpetrators of one of the biggest wine-fraud schemes in history. Kuriawan is now serving a ten-year sentence for passing rando French wines off as super-famous historic French wines, only he didn't Google anything and made a bunch of labels for vintages that don't exist. And boy, it's a good thing somebody got an actor to write passages from Kurniawan's confession in a journal onscreen, and then lie disconsolately on a prison bed that is actually a plain wooden bench! Otherwise I definitely wouldn't have comprehended any of this. What I would have comprehended just fine either way: this guy's jerknozzle of a defense attorney can go drink some fake wine, but only if it's spiked with arsenic.
- Talk about counterfeiting!
Millions of dollars' worth of fake wine sold at auction is one thing, but let's be honest about the true travesty here: WHY, in the one segment that reliably involves the Matthews out and unsupervised in the world, would you send Joe out for wine in the Italian countryside? We're already spending a lot of time watching Joe talk to winemakers! We don't need more of that! Even worse, the Matthews probably spent that time at the villa breaking into Joe's cellar and doing their own porny interpretations of Joe's Butler's Friend presentation. Why couldn't you show THAT, The Wine Show?