Taste a Chicago public access show about food and wine, is produced by Laura Levy Shaikin and hosted by Jenniffer Weigel of L Squared Productions. The wine segments provide viewers with the latest trends, wineries, and grape reviews that are otherwise exclusive to stores and media outlets.
Weigel, a certified sommelier and a wine critic for the Chicago Reader Newspaper, brought her expertise into the limelight by creating Wine Peeks TV with Jenniffer Weigel.. The online show takes the best clips involving wine from recent seasons of “Taste” and brings them to a larger audience outside Chicago’s public access.
Several dozen videos are featured on a few channels, each focusing on a different aspect of viniculture. There’s Wine Picks (vineyard staff talk about favorites from their collections), Online Wine (wine clubs and online vendors), Wine 101, Tales from the Vine (stories behind the labels and wine families), Wine Events, and Sommelier Wine Picks (aficionados speak about their favorite pairings). Overall, the content is very educational and informative, less like a commercial than a good friend recommending something excellent.
The Online Wine channel has sparse video content when compared to the rest of the site’s offerings but, judging by user comments, it’s also the most important. Viewers seem fond of the video on Bottlenotes.com wine club, which customizes the monthly shipments based on surveys and your ratings of the wines it sends. After Paul Giamatti’s character in Sideways spit vitriol all over Merlot, it became all the more important for Wine Peeks to cover events like Merlot in May, the only gathering in the world that celebrates the wine, which takes viewers on a tour of the California event, interspersed with interviews praising and explaining Merlot’s history.
One wine that’s hardly ever discussed is the Japanese rice wine, Sake. So its enriching to watch a few Sake-makers walk through the production process of some of the most popular wines.