Bachelor Serves Up Wine, Avoids Cheese
Andrew Firestone shares his Wine Ways
Is The Bachelor: Paris
catch Travis Stork
still canoodling with Sarah Stone
, the kindergarten teach he picked in this week's finale? Who knows. But until the would-be couple come forth, TVGuide.com got up to speed on another
Bachelor, Season 3 star Andrew Firestone
, who has his own big news to share. After all, maybe things have reheated up between him and Jen Schefft
, right? No? Maybe he just has a DVD to tout?
TVGuide.com: Tell me about Wine Ways, the new educational DVD you produced and star in. How did it come to be?
Andrew Firestone: In a nutshell, what I do in my day job is teach wine tasting, and I really like to focus on people who don't drink wine very often or are drinking wine for the first time. The DVD is a more user-friendly way to enjoy wine and puts it in a format that's easy to digest. The guy who shot it was a family friend who used all his tricks of photography to make it an interesting piece.
TVGuide.com: Yeah, watching a bunch of people sitting around sipping wine could get old after five minutes.
Firestone: Exactly. I didn't want it to look like a documentary or something you'd see in a classroom, so trying to capture the sights and sounds and images and movements of wine making was important. Also, I teamed up with Richard Harris, who was the editor on a bunch of movies, most importantly Titanic, which he won an Oscar for. He was James Cameron's right-hand man.
TVGuide.com: Ahh, that explains that odd "ship-sinking" scene in the middle of the DVD.
Firestone: Right, exactly. [Laughs] The one where I'm standing above a barrel of merlot.
TVGuide.com: "I'm the king of merlot!"
Firestone: But Richard's kind of a wine dork himself — he's got an acre of viognier that he grows and makes into wine — so when I went to ask him a couple of questions, he got excited about the idea. Eventually, he signed on to edit this thing at a very friendly rate. I'm really excited about how it turned out.
TVGuide.com: Let me take advantage of some of your knowledge. What are the "hot tickets" in today's wine world?
Firestone: In Santa Barbara County, chardonnay... anything from Washington in the pinot noir category... and in our region [Santa Ynez, California], the hot wines are the syrahs and also the viognier.
TVGuide.com: Are syrahs the new merlot?
Firestone: The Australians have been making syrahs forever and have had a lot of success with them, but our region recently found that we can grow them really well and they turn out beautifully.
TVGuide.com: As a merlot lover, what vintage should I be looking for at the store?
Firestone: It depends on where you're from, but in Santa Barbara it seems that the even years turned out pretty nicely. The wines I like to drink are the ones you drink two or three years after the vintage. I'm not a huge proponent of letting a wine sit in a wine rack for 10 years before you drink it. I believe in the European version of enjoying wine, where you make it to enjoy right away.
TVGuide.com: I just learned that you're supposed to drink a beaujolais right away, and I've had one "aging" in my crappy li'l wine rack for about 10 years.
Firestone: Well, sometimes it's fun if you have room in the wallet to let a wine sit and see what it does.
TVGuide.com: Having been on The Bachelor, would you say wine savviness is a handy talent for a dating man to have?
Firestone: For sure. There are only a few things us guys can really show off intelligently. I love cars, but talking about the V8 engine in a Corvette isn't that sexy to talk about over dinner. But to be able to distinguish between a cabernet and a merlot and to be able to order intelligently off a wine list is really sexy. If nothing else, a little alcohol always seems to make the date go by a little better!
TVGuide.com: What's been the coolest part of your post-Bachelor life?
Firestone: Last weekend I went to NBA All-Star weekend and was able to play on the same Celebrity All-Star team as Bow Wow and Ice Cube — that was pretty fun. But the coolest part has been getting back to my daily 9-to-5 job. Wine's my passion and I was thrilled to be able to put this DVD together to share with people.
TVGuide.com: Get a load of this segue: What goes well with wine is cheese. How much cheese-tastic reality-TV have you turned down?
Firestone: The most important thing I turned down was Fear Factor, and I'll tell you why: To be a wine-and-food guy and go eat bugs on TV would be a detriment to my ability to talk intelligently about the finer foods and wines.
TVGuide.com: What wine does go best with cow entrails?
Firestone: [Laughs] Anything in a box. There are some opportunities that have come up, but that stands out as something that would really have damaged my credibility as a wine-and-food guy.
TVGuide.com: Coming from the Firestone family, did you ever consider a similar DVD targeted toward, you know, tire connoisseurs?
Firestone: I'm a gearhead at heart — I think my bloodstream is 50 percent merlot and 50 percent Valvoline. I love racing and I've been able to successfully wrap my car, on the track, around some barriers before. I was in the Long Beach Grand Prix Celebrity Race and I crashed my car there, and I've crashed my car into the track in Milwaukee.
TVGuide.com: But that was only because you had half a bottle of syrah in you.
Firestone: Don't make those kind of jokes!
TVGuide.com: Here is where I ask, "When's the last time you heard from Jen Schefft, or vice versa?"
Firestone: You know, I sent her a message on Christmas, wishing her a merry Christmas and a happy new year.
TVGuide.com: And... it just sat there, didn't it?
Firestone: [Laughs] She sent a note back. I haven't spoken to her in a while, but I trust she's doing well.
TVGuide.com: I saw some event pictures of you with some hot blonde model, Ivana Somethingexoticoranother?
Firestone: Ivana Bozilovic. We've been dating for over a year now. She's put up with me, so she has a lot of patience.
TVGuide.com: Is she a model or model-actress?
Firestone: A model-actress. She did Wedding Crashers.
TVGuide.com: Well, stick with her and ABC won't have to come after you for "The Bachelor No. 3 Returns."
Firestone: Let's hope I can have more success with Ivana than ABC had with me!