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Could William Shatner be the next big thing in wine?

Written By | Dec 3, 2014

SEATTLE, December 3, 2014 — Some of us grew-up watching Captain Kirk “boldly go where no man has gone before”, zipping around the galaxy. Now William Shatner might be the next big thing in wine tasting. His Brown Bag Wine Tasting episodes on ORA.TV are one-on-one videos that have him sitting down with a person where they talk about that person’s job and life. After the talk, William pours his guest and himself a bit of wine that’s wrapped in a brown bag and then has the guest talk about that wine in terminology of the career they do.

This week’s episode has Motorcycle enthusiast, James Reddick who describes the wine in motorcycle terms like horsepower, torque, brand, or even like a new or old bike. James describes the wine as ‘bold’ like a “big motorcycle… a 1500 CC motorcycle, like a Harley Davidson,” He adds that the Zinfandel from Napa Valley is ‘spicy, peppery, and takes itself a little too seriously, rides the 1200 but wants to be in the biker gang.” Shatner adds “it can’t because it’s too fancy.” James gave the 2011 Frank Family Vineyard wine an overall 91 points.

What’s both entertaining and insightful is hearing some of the guests open up about their lives, often telling William things that most don’t know about. For example, in the episode with Alton Brown, Alton opens up about his father passing away while he was still young and how that impacted his life growing up.

Perhaps the best part is, that shows like William’s, help to rid people of wine snobbery and inhibitions when it comes to describing wine. Wine is, after all, a fun product that should be enjoyed by everyone. Life is entirely too short to take wine too seriously and the more video shows we start to see like Brown Bag Wine Tasting, the better it’ll be for the industry and ultimately consumers. Learning to embrace your own palate and not Robert Parker’s is a huge step in the education process of wine and the fun-factor. Finally, being able to express how a wine tastes or “feels” is also important as there are no right or wrong answers. Whatever makes sense to you, is the right conclusion.

Here are a couple of our favorite episodes:

Alton Brown:

Levar Burton:


Duane Pemberton

Duane Pemberton is a lifestyle writer and CDNs Auto Editor. Pemberton loves anything that helps bring people together which is why he writes about food, wine, cars, and travel.