It wasn’t onerous for James Purefoy to persuade his fellow actor and pal, Dominic West, to hitch him in Portugal for “The Wine Present.”
“I requested him if he might do it as a result of we had been having a scheduling battle with [series regular] Matthew Goode,” Purefoy, 57, instructed The Publish. “I left him a voice message: ‘OK, this could possibly be the very best job give you ever had. You arrive in a very stunning, swanky launch up the Douro River to be collected by a basic Porsche and delivered to an unimaginable quinta [rural historic manor] and can spend three days consuming wine. How does that sound?’
“He rang me again and stated, ‘Jimmy, that is the best job provide I’ve ever had in my life.’”
Purefoy, Goode, Emmy winner Matthew Rhys (“The Individuals,” “Perry Mason”) and now West return for Season 3 of “The Wine Present,” making its US premiere Thursday, July 29, on Sundance Now, Acorn TV.
This season of the travelogue sequence options Purefoy and Goode (“Watchmen,” “Downton Abbey,” “The Crown”) traversing all through Portugal, armed with assignments from sequence wine knowledgeable Joe Fattorini — together with studying how Portuguese wine pertains to area journey, the way it’s linked to the Indian curry Vindaloo and its function within the nation’s cod trade (you’ll be shocked on all three counts).
Fattorini additionally travels to New York (pre-COVID) to dine with Rhys in a number of New York eating places and, in fact, drink and focus on varied wines. Different adventures this season characteristic sommelier Charlotte Wilde and wine knowledgeable Amelia Singer.
“We’re simply wound up like clockwork toys and despatched on our approach,” stated Purefoy of his adventures in Portugal with Goode. (West and Purefoy pattern wines on the Quinta do Noval within the Douro Valley.) “The Portuguese wine trade is sophisticated and so they’re very aggressive with one another. It’s a must to watch out to not tread on any toes and to be very delicate. As soon as they allow you to in they’re extremely welcoming.”
Purefoy, together with Rhys and Goode, has been on all three seasons of “The Wine Present” however stated he nonetheless has rather a lot to be taught — and it’s daunting.
“I actually like consuming wine, in order that helps and I’m very interested by wine,” he stated. “There’s just a little second at first of the third season the place [he and Goode] speak about Socratic dialogue — the extra you already know about one thing the extra you notice you already know nothing. I’m unhappy to say that’s completely true…and I confess I feel I do know much less now than once we began.”
Purefoy and West additionally expertise the deal with of tasting “a few of the rarest Ports possible” at Quinto do Noval. These wines preceded the destruction, about 20 years in the past, of vineyards all through Europe (together with Italy, Portugal, France and Spain) by the Phylloxera, an insect that spreads a root-killing fungus.
“This little beetle simply devoured and went by means of all of the roots,” Purefoy stated. “These Ports are extremely troublesome to come up with and virtually inconceivable to purchase. They arrive from tiny rows of vines pre-Phylloxera.”
Season 3 took a few month to movie and contains the present’s trademark “Tasting Week,” during which Purefoy et al. begin early within the day, generally at 7 a.m., then style 16 wines within the morning, 16 within the afternoon and a number of other extra at night time.
“That may get just a little bit messy, as you possibly can think about,” he stated. “By way of tv, it’s unattractive to spit [out the wine] so we sip. I discovered my lesson final season; I obtained slightly drunk…so now I simply take the tiniest sip of every wine. We’re not happy with getting drunk. It’s a part of the job, sadly and our producers are superb. They all the time give us a few hours off at lunchtime to sober up and have a little bit of a sleep earlier than we begin once more.
“One of many issues about this present is that it’s not a really macho present in any respect,” he stated. “It’s kind of like [car series] ‘High Gear’ for wine. I prefer to assume that we put our arms round one another and our viewers and convey them shut and provides them an excellent hug.”