Real Winemakers Read Wine Spectator Reviews #3: a tribute to Real Actors Read Yelp Reviews

by on September 6, 2012

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When our friends at introduced us to the Real Actors Read Yelp Reviews video series, our entry into Wine Spectator‘s 2012 Lights! Camera! Pour! Video Contest began to take shape. Why hasn’t anyone ever made a video of someone reading a long-form wine review? Maybe, just maybe, wine lovers might find it as amusing as foodies did Yelp review readings. We decided to give it a try.

We started with Wine Spectator’s What We’re Drinking Now columns for inspiration. They offer an entertaining mix of epicurean storytelling and wine critique–stories of mystery decanters, Las Vegas night clubs and wine lists with $8,000-plus bottles–so many great stories that we asked some friends and fellow vintners to join in the fun.

Wine Spectator‘s video contest is our one time a year to break out from the usual behind-the-scenes winemaking and hospitality videos–and create videos to make wine lovers laugh (hopefully). Funny submissions have made the finals in the past, so we thought this concept might make Spectator editors smile. Our contest submissions are not intended to poke fun at the original authors; they are meant to be an entertaining tribute to the passion and detail noted wine critics put into their prose. Finalists will be announced on Spectator’s website on September 10; we submitted three Real Winemakers Read Wine Spectator Reviews videos to the contest–and due to official rules, they can only pick one video finalist per entrant. We’re anxious to see if they pick one–and if so, which one will be their favorite.

We like to think of these videos as an opportunity for wine lovers to enjoy wine reviews “outside the glass” — a brief escape from the 100-point-scale scores and in-depth analysis of wines that has dominated wine journalism for decades.

Pour yourself a glass of your favorite wine and enjoy. We’d love to hear what you think.

Special thanks to Daryl Groom of Colby Red and Groom Wines for channeling Thomas Matthews (Tony D’s Mystery Decanter) in this video. We’d also like to thank Thomas Matthews for capturing such lively epicurean experiences in his posts. We had a blast trying to interpret them on camera. (Ironically, the fig tree in Tony D’s backyard also received a nod in New York Times last week, courtesy of author Melissa Clark.)

Subscribe to our blog or our YouTube channel, so you don’t miss our entire Real Winemakers Read Wine Spectator Reviews series. Real Sommeliers Read Robert Parker Reviews debuts next.

  • Courtney Rich

    Daryl Groom is incredibly entertaining to watch! I don’t think I’ve ever been so captivated by a wine review!

    Since I also paired Ridge’s Bridgehead Mataro (1994) with “What WINE Pairs With Growing Up,” this video spoke volumes to my heart!

    Cheers! I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it!

  • lisamattson

    I’d love to see that!

  • Doug Levy

    This is brilliantly funny. Well done!

  • W. Blake Gray

    It’s all about the punch line. Sounds like a perfect wine experience, so delicious, so inspiring, with such an interesting background … 88 points. Imagine what the conversation is like after sex.

  • Eric

    Ridge didn’t give up on the mataro at Bridgehead vineyard, the grower gave up on Ridge and stopped selling after 1997 vintage, waiting until about two weeks before the 1998 vintage to tell them they weren’t going to get any fruit.

  • Los Olivos Cat


  • binNotes

    LOL! Award-winning performance – cheers!

  • lisamattson

    Hi Eric,
    Thanks for commenting. You might want to leave the same comment over on the Wine Spectator website so that those reading Thomas’s column know what happened to Mataro:

  • Pamela Heiligenthal @ Enobytes


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  • Tim McDonald

    Brilliant stuff Lisa!

  • Lisa Mattson

    Thanks, Tim!

  • Lisa Mattson

    Thanks, Pamela.

  • Lisa Mattson

    Thank you. Glad you enjoyed it.

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