Kendall-Jackson goes “Undercover”

Wine is going prime time this weekend.

Kendall-Jackson president Rick Tigner will be on the popular CBS TV show “Undercover Boss,” working alongside the rank-and-file and learning some surprising things about his company. Viewers will learn some things about Tigner, too. He opens up about his struggles as the son of an alcoholic father.

Company founder the late Jess Jackson gave his approval for the project, but died around the time of filming, which adds a poignant note as Tigner wonders aloud if people think he’s up to the job.

Here‘s a review of the episode I wrote for Palate Press.

These shows tend to follow a fairly reliable formula. Boss talks about himself and his company, boss goes into the trenches, stumbling through menial tasks while his employees look on, boss runs into at least one worker with a problem and then there’s the big reveal where workers are stunned to discover they’ve been rubbing elbows with the brass. The reveal part never gets old for me. It’s better even than when the dudes on “Antique Roadshow” learn their dining room table centerpiece is actually a 17th-century chamber pot worth 100 grand.

I saw this episode in a press screening and I thought it was so interesting to see wine presented in such a matter-of-fact way. It seems the only time wine makes the mainstream news is the it’ll-kill-yer/it’ll-make-yer-immortal type of stories.

Beyond that, it’s just fun television. I laughed, I cried, it was better than “Cats.” OK, I haven’t actually seen “Cats,” but you get the idea.

Cheers, telegenically.

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