Doughnuts and Wine

The funky world of reality TV could be getting a bit stranger. A Los Angeles production company has filmed a pilot for a series on doughnuts and wine pairing. The proposed reality show will be marketed to TLC, the Food Network and the Cooking Channel.

“There’s a lot of cupcake and cake reality shows,” says Nicole Block of Highlighting Entertainment, “but we haven’t seen a doughnut show.”

Cake reality shows? Since I’ve been hiding under a rock for the past few decades, I Googled the topic and discovered a new entertainment category. It apparently started with the Food Channel’s Ace of Cakes, set at Charm City Cakes in Baltimore. The current king of bakery TV is Cake Boss, which chronicles the life of an Italian family that owns a shop in Hoboken. While it might appear that the people watching this stuff are sorely in need of some excitement in their lives, Cake Boss attracts nearly two million viewers per episode.

For the baked goods side of the show, Block chose Psycho Donuts, a controversial storefront in San Jose. The shop is decorated as a mental institution, and the staff is dressed as doctors and nurses. “We make you better with doughnuts,” says founder Jordan Zwegoron, who has contended with protests from mental health activists since he opened the doors two years ago. “Satire is what we do, but a lot of people don’t pick up the satire.” Ain’t it the truth, Jordan?

The pilot was filmed at Poetic Cellars in Santa Cruz Mountains. The winery was chosen because each bottle carries a poem on the back label, written by co-owner Joseph Naegele. Four Poetic Cellars wines were paired with products from Psycho Donuts, which produces pizza and hamburger doughnuts along with the traditional sweet varieties.

Stranger things have happened. It’s easy to make fun of new ideas, but they form the fabric of the future. Someday we’ll be able to sit on the couch, eat doughnuts and sip wine, while watching the tube for a foolproof guide on how to combine them. Our lives will be richer for it.

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