Beer lovers and wine novices rejoice. Billy Merritt is proof positive that anyone can learn to enjoy the art of wine. As I often love to remind people, wine is about joy, conversation, and love and is no longer the realm of stuffy sommeliers or snobby critics.

Enter Uncorked with Billy Merritt. This TV series on Mojo HD network (for men of high taste and income who enjoy cigars, poker, and the finer things) is a fun look at a beer and whisky lover’s foray into the world of wine. Billy is a comedian and makes no pretenses about his wine ignorance – although, I get the sense he knows more about wine than he’s letting on. He is just a guy who loves wine, asks all the dumb questions, and tried to understand and enjoy the crazy little world of wine ordering and collecting. He’s a guys’ guy. Nachos, sports, and bars are more his thing, but he proves that wine lovers cannot - and should not - be pinned down to one stereotype.

His show is a pleasure to watch. It’s like watching Norm from Cheers make his way around Bordeaux. The show is full of practical advice, with certain tips appearing as on-screen captions. Billy meets and greets all sorts of wonderful people – wine shop owners, chefs, you name it - from Napa to Europe on his quest to transform from beer dude to wine guy. Just when you think he’s going to get the cold shoulder from the wine experts, they fall under his charms. He’s like a big, slightly disheveled, huggable teddy bear that embodies a passion for wine in its purest form.

There is no shortage of wine shows on TV these days. It seems everyone has their own take on visiting exotic places, finding hidden gems, and sipping lovely libations in the middle of a vineyard. But let’s be honest: many of these folks are either boring, redundant, or just plain horrible speakers. I often lament why I can’t get my OWN show: at least I have an acting background and have taken Effective Presentation courses! Ah, someday, someday….but I digress.

Many hosts also try to pack too much into one show, leaving the viewer bereft of any practical tips they can take with them to their neighborhood wine shop. That’s what I love about Billy. He’s accessible, lovable, and focuses on just a few main points per episode so you feel like you’ve actually learned something useful.

For wine newbies and those of you like me who know enough to be dangerous, take a peek at Uncorked with Billy Merritt. It’s a fun little ride through the world of wine as seen through the eyes of a guy normally seen downing microbrews and playing darts at the local sports bar. Oh, and his blog is a treat as well so check it out. Seems Billy shows us that wine and comedy do indeed make a perfect pairing.

Maria Ross is a freelance writer who also runs Red Slice, a branding and marketing agency that helps emerging businesses, including wineries and wine bars, tell their unique story and attract new loyalists.  She is based in Seattle.