Sonoma County’s Geoff Kruth takes viewers into the grueling world of wanna-be sommeliers in “Uncorked,” a new reality television show premiering on the Esquire Network on Tuesday, Nov. 10.
This six-episode series follows a group of talented sommeliers (Jack Mason, Yannick Benjamin, Jane Lopes, Dana Gaiser, Josh Nadel and Morgan Harris) as they prepare to take the Master Sommelier exam, a test only 230 people in the world have passed.
As a producer of the show, Petaluma’s Kruth oversees some of the competitions to prep the group for the test. He is the president of Guildsomm, and he created and judged the challenges for the first four episodes.
To pass the exam, people have to pinpoint the year, the grape variety and region of a wine, down to the village where the grapes were grown. They also have to know a great deal about wine theory and master serving skills.
Kruth took time out of his schedule to talk about the show’s challenges, surprises and making Julia Child proud.
Q: How would you describe your journey of preparing for the test?
A: For me the MS exam was a personal challenge; I passed in 2008. It was a way to measure my progress and make sure I was always approaching the world of wine globally and not just focused on my personal interests. Looking at the wine world from a global perspective exposes you to things you might not have expected to fall in love with.
Q: What was the most challenging part of the test for you?
A: At the time tasting, but if I took the test tomorrow it’s probably the only section I’m sure I’d pass.
Q: What is the most surprising thing people will see in ‘Uncorked’?
A: How varied and unique the characters are. They are all incredibly passionate but beyond that and their love of wine, they couldn’t be more different.
Q: What is the most enlightening thing they will see in this show?
A: Anyone will learn something. Whether you are an occasional drinker or a winemaker for 40 years you will learn something new and have fun watching.
Q: Does the show say we’ve reached a tipping point with wine in this country?
A: I hope so, but only the public will decide the staying power of wine and if we adopt it as part of our culture and not just a trend or a luxury object. I’m optimistic though.
Q: Would the late Julia Child be proud of how our country is embracing food and wine right now…based on the excitement about this docu-series?
A: Absolutely. She paved the way for exposing people to the culture of food and wine through media. Although she might cheers our progress with a little hit of bourbon 😉
See the trailer here: