James Purefoy and his celeb pals return for ‘The Wine Show’

It wasn’t onerous for James Purefoy to persuade his fellow actor and pal, Dominic West, to hitch him in Portugal for “The Wine Show.”

“I asked him if he could do it because we were having a scheduling conflict with [series regular] Matthew Goode,” Purefoy, 57, advised The Post. “I left him a voice message: ‘OK, this could be the best job offer you ever had. You arrive in a really beautiful, swanky launch up the Douro River to be collected by a classic Porsche and brought to an incredible quinta [rural historic manor] and will spend three days drinking wine. How does that sound?’

“He rang me back and said, ‘Jimmy, this is the finest job offer I’ve ever had in my life.’”

Purefoy, Goode, Emmy winner Matthew Rhys (“The Americans,” “Perry Mason”) and now West return for Season 3 of “The Wine Show,” 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 professional Joe Fattorini — together with studying how Portuguese wine pertains to area journey, the way it’s linked to the Indian curry Vindaloo and its position within the nation’s cod trade (you’ll be shocked on all three counts).

Photo of Dominic West and James Purefoy holding wine glasses.
Dominic West (left) and James Purefoy study wines in Portugal on Season 3 of “The Wine Show.”

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. Other adventures this season function sommelier Charlotte Wilde and wine professional Amelia Singer.

“We’re just wound up like clockwork toys and sent on our way,” mentioned 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 industry is complicated and they’re very competitive with each other. You have to be careful not to tread on any toes and to be very sensitive. Once they let you in they’re incredibly welcoming.”

Purefoy, together with Rhys and Goode, has been on all three seasons of “The Wine Show” however mentioned he nonetheless has lots to be taught — and it’s daunting.

“I really like drinking wine, so that helps and I’m very interested in wine,” he mentioned. “There’s a little moment at the beginning of the third season where [he and Goode] talk about Socratic dialogue — the more you know about something the more you realize you know nothing. I’m sad to say that is absolutely true…and I confess I think I know less now than when we started.”

Purefoy and West additionally expertise the deal with of tasting “some of the rarest Ports imaginable” 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.

Photo of James Purefoy and Matthew Goode seated at a table and listening to someone talk.
Travel companions: James Purefoy (left) and Matthew Goode trek round Portugal studying about its wine.

“This little beetle just devoured and went through all the roots,” Purefoy mentioned. “These Ports are incredibly difficult to get a hold of and almost impossible to buy. They come from tiny rows of vines pre-Phylloxera.”

Season 3 took a few month to movie and consists of the present’s trademark “Tasting Week,” through 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 extra at night time.

“That can get a little bit messy, as you can imagine,” he mentioned. “In phrases of tv, it’s unattractive to spit [out the wine] so we sip. I discovered my lesson final season; I obtained quite drunk…so now I simply take the tiniest sip of every wine. We’re not pleased with getting drunk. It’s a part of the job, sadly and our producers are excellent. They all the time give us a few hours off at lunchtime to sober up and have a little bit of a nap earlier than we begin once more.

“One of the things about this show is that it’s not a very macho show at all,” he mentioned. “It’s sort of like [car series] ‘Top Gear’ for wine. I like to think that we put our arms around each other and our audience and bring them close and give them a good hug.”

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