The Feed reports that in June, a PBS reality show, The Wine Makers, will pit would-be grape-stompers against each other in a Top Chef–like competition. Judging by the trailer, the Top Chef comparison is a bit of a stretch — the contestants (a.k.a. sommelplayers?) don’t look like the fauxhawk type (though one does sport a biker beard — what, they couldn’t get Paul Grieco and his soul patch?), and flutes of grape juice just aren’t going to be as visually stimulating as, say, “cyber eggs.” There’s an obligatory 3 a.m. surprise wakeup call, but there isn’t even a strapping, cocky Aussie winemaker in the mix, or a dour, Spätburgunder-championing German. Maybe Jim Clendenen will at least come on as a judge, rocking the Hawaiian shirt? Or the mercurial Michael Dorf as the Simon Cowell type? Anyway, Double Dare–style races through grape mash are assured!
But you know what we’d really love to see? A Top Chef–type show that pits mixologists against each other, blue-blazer fireplay and all. Some of the folks who’d be on that show — “King of Cocktails” Dale DeGroff, Audrey Saunders of Pegu Club, Julie Rainer of Flatiron Lounge, Charlotte Voisey of the Eldridge, Dave Wondrich, Gary Reagan, Allen Katz, and others — will be mixing drinks at Pranna on May 13, from 7 p.m. till midnight, to celebrate World Cocktail Day. They won’t be competing, but the $60 entry fee gets you all the drinks (and snacks) you want, so feel free to play judge.