Purefoy samples great wine so you don’t have to in Season 2 of ‘The Wine Show’

‘The Wine Show’ – Purefoy couldn’t say no

Matthew Goode (left) and James Purefoy in “The Wine Show”

British actor James Purefoy calls himself a wine enthusiast and a “useful idiot” who has no use for wine snobbery. And it’s that average-guy sensibility he brings to his role as co-host of Season 2 of Ovation’s “The Wine Show.”

Premiering Thursday, Nov. 15, the new batch of seven episodes finds the star of such productions as “Rome,” “Hap and Leonard” and “Altered Carbon” joining Season 1 co-host Matthew Goode (“The Imitation Game”) as they set off from their villa in the Provence region of France to uncover some of the best wines in the world and the stories behind them.

And then explain it all to the viewer as a relative layman, which Purefoy considers himself.

“There is an awful lot of language spoken about it and words used and ideas used around wine I think we’re all familiar with,” the personable actor explains, “which can turn people off from trying wine or saying what they think about a glass of wine because they don’t want to sound stupid. They don’t want to sound ignorant about things. And really what we decided was we just came down to one very simple idea: Does this glass of wine give you pleasure? And if it gives you pleasure, that’s a good glass of wine.”

Like last season, Purefoy and Goode visit regions around the world – including Germany, Japan, Argentina, Bosnia and the United States – to sample wines and bring them back for the evaluation and enjoyment of returning experts Joe Fattorini and Amelia Singer and newcomers Jancis Robinson and Jaega Wise.

Purefoy replaces last year’s co-host Matthew Rhys, who had to downsize his role because of filming commitments, so this season he appears in segments demonstrating wine gadgets. This left Purefoy – whose interest in wine dates back more than a decade to his time in Italy filming “Rome” – the opportunity to spend three weeks in France drinking great wine and taking in a lot of useful wine knowledge. Because somebody had to do it.

“One of the things ‘The Wine Show’ taught me,” Purefoy says, “… was just to pay attention, to respect a glass of wine, to pay attention to the hours that have gone into making it and the weeks and the months and the years and into the system that’s gone into making it.

“And when you drink it, don’t just neck it,” he continues, “don’t just throw it down the back of your throat so that it doesn’t touch the sides. But just give it a bit of a smell, give it a whiff, roll it round in your hand a little bit in the glass and then taste it, and then just pay attention to what that taste is.

“And then neck it, then have a really good time.”

George Dickie

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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