We nearly popped our cork when the former Monty Pythoner and all-around auteur rang to chat about hosting Wine for the Confused, a thirst-quenching TV doc for the oenophile in all of us.
Why did you go for this grape, er, great gig?
I thought, What a marvelous opportunity to ask the questions I've always wanted to ask. So many people are intimidated by this subject.
But it is rather snobbish, isn't it?
It can be. Many sommeliers told me they get irritated by young businessmen who don't know anything about wine, order a $400 bottle, and don't appreciate it.
What makes your palate sing?
I don't like spicy. I love earthy and fruity. I was in Monterey and asked for a local pinot noir. After I'd described what I wanted, the waiter said, ''We'll open one for you, but you won't like it.'' And he was right.
If you could have only one more drink?
A great white burgundy probably a Marceau.
Are you drunk right now?
No. [Laughs] But I might have a glass or two on the weekend.