Have you ever wondered what it’s like to shoot a TV show?
I got to find out as I tagged along with Hank Zona and his crew as they filmed scenes for an upcoming episode of “The Grapes Unwrapped” in downtown South Orange.
“We are exploring the idea of doing the show in front of a live audience,” he said, “and this was a good way to test the waters.”
Each episode of “The Grapes Unwrapped” takes a user-friendly approach to a wine-related topic. Shows have included how to pair wine with chocolate, which wines bring out the best in summer vegetables, and how to match up wine with casual Italian food.
Today, Zona and his team were shooting a segment on how to pair wine and seafood — and what better place to do it than at counter at ?
“People ask me all the time how to match wine with fish,” Zona said. “It can be a challenge, especially since for many people the cost of seafood is intimidating.”
Zona sampled freshly shucked blue point oysters while sipping Chablis, a classic pairing. Next, he mixed it up a little by matching the bivalves with a less expected choice: sherry.
As he slurped, tasted and sipped, Zona explained the reasons behind his choices. His patter was relaxed and largely unrehearsed, yet chock-full of useful information presented in an unintimidating style.
“The show is a good combination of well thought-out and fly by the seat of your pants,” said cameraman and producer Jim Calabrese.
Zona matched a variety of wines with salmon, sushi and other choices. Then the crew wrapped up at Eden and headed a few doors down to to shoot a short piece on glassware.
Owner Ben Salmon was waiting with a selection of inexpensive and durable wine glasses, as well as wine stoppers.
Zona told viewers that Salmon – whose award-winning kitchenware shop boasts several thousand well-curated items – is “more passionate about what he does than anyone else I know.”
In that respect, Zona and Salmon are a perfect pairing.
Look for the special South Orange wine and seafood episode of “The Grapes Unwrapped” to air soon on SOMA-TV.
Cablevision Channel 19
Verizon FiOS Channel 44
Comcast Channel 35
Verizon FiOS Channel 24
Verizon FiOS Channel 22