Tastemade has struck a multiyear deal with Constellation Brands — the wine and spirits company behind Robert Mondavi Winery, Lingua Franca, The Prisoner Wine Company and High West Whiskey, among others — to create a slate of original programming.
The multimillion-dollar deal will include the creation and sale of original series to outside streamers, as well as the development of original shows for Tastemade’s ad-supported streaming channel. The first series from the partnership, Street Somm, is currently in development and is expected to premiere in the back half of the year on Tastemade’s streaming channel. The travel-style show will follow a sommelier visiting a different city in the U.S. and meeting a local to eat food and make some surprising wine pairings along the way.
The goal of the partnership, according to Constellation Brands’ Robert Hanson, is to engage younger drinking-age audiences. “The reality is [that] the wine business, in particular, has just not made the wine category exciting to younger, legal drinking age, multicultural consumers. [The industry] hasn’t put out content to have younger people think about wines as an exciting luxury and affordable luxury and premium category,” Hanson, who serves as the evp and president of Constellation’s wine and spirits division, tells The Hollywood Reporter.
To do so, shows like Street Somm and other programming in the works will seek to dispel preconceived notions about wine and tell stories related to some of Constellation’s brands, such as sustainability in the wine business to how the industry is working on making itself more inclusive for both the artisans and the consumers, Hanson says.
For Tastemade, that means ensuring the programming stands on its own and doesn’t read to viewers as just sponsored content, Tastemade CEO and co-founder Larry Fitzgibbon says. The deal with Constellation also represents the first time Tastemade is going to market with a brand to sell programming to a streamer like Netflix or Hulu.
“[Constellation has] a whole set of beautiful wineries up in Napa, they have locations in New Zealand and in Italy, and so when you think about some of the type of programming that we might develop, it’s very clear we could leverage some of those assets they have,” Fitzgibbon says. “That one-two punch that we can bring to a streamer when we package up an idea is pretty compelling.”
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