Wednesday, December 13 , 2017, 6:10 pm | Smoke 53º


Tara Jones


Tara Jones: Pinot By Tituss Burgess Proves Peeno Far Off the Mark, Needs a Channel Change

In spite of Santa Barbara County roots and connections to The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, this idea probably should be canceled

The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is a hit, Pinot By Tituss not so much. Click to view larger
The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is a hit, Pinot By Tituss not so much. (Tara Jones / Eat This, Shoot That! photo)

No one is a bigger Netflix junkie than me.

I wish I were the type of person who was an avid reader and almost never switched on the TV, but when the end of the day comes my brain is as good as mush, and the low sound of canned laughter and sitcom-type hilarity just lulls me into a deep hypnotic relaxed state.

One of my favorite findings last year was the hit show The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, a story about a girl who gets rescued from a literal underground cult and decides to make her mark on the mean streets of New York City.

Enter Tituss Burgess.

Played by Burgess, the eponymous character’s flamboyant sidekick, Titus Andromedon, is half the fun of the show’s smart comedic timing, and he performs in his own low-grade music video titled “Peeno Noir” at the end of season one, where all the lyrics are words that rhyme with noir while he twirls around in various shimmering outfits.

Caviar, Myanmar, midsized car. You get the picture.

Of course, when I discovered that Burgess had produced his own Pinot Noir in real life, Pinot By Tituss, and that two-thirds of the grapes were sourced from Santa Barbara County, you can believe I was first in line to try it.

It’s always fun when a serious product is birthed from a not-so-serious idea on a silly show.

Plus, I’ve always been of the opinion that it’s fairly difficult to produce a bad Santa Barbara pinot noir, but somehow the makers of Pinot by Tituss Burgess, Fine Wine Agency of New York City, have managed to do just that.

One sip of this sub-standard, berry-flavored pinot with its sickeningly sweet aftertaste had me searching for a palate cleanser and a way to get my money back.

The first night I tried it, I immediately regretted my $40 purchase (bottle prices are only $24.99, but the shipping cost almost doubles your purchase).

The next night I had hope that the wine would improve and that a lack of aeration was the problem. But like taking back a bad boyfriend, the improvement was minimal and my hopes were dashed once again.

There are celebrity wines and then there are celebrity wines. Some are made with the precision and quality you’d expect from a person of means who can afford to hire a skilled winemaker.

Others are merely riding on the coattails of their fame and hoping to pass off their juice as a fine wine. Unfortunately, this wine is the latter.

Like Burgess’ character, this wine is both over the top and a bit amateurish.

Call me overly protective of the good thing we’ve got going here, but if you’re going to source from Santa Barbara County, do us the honor of making something worth singing about.

Tara Jones leads Eat This, Shoot That! and welcomes reader tips and ideas for future columns. She can be reached at [email protected]. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

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