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?
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.
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.
Right, exactly. [Laughs] The one where I'm standing above a barrel of merlot.
TVGuide.com: "I'm the king of merlot!"
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?
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?
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?
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.
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?
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?
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?
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?
[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?
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.
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?"
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?
[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?
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?
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."
Let's hope I can have more success with Ivana than ABC had with me!