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Drinking and Driving

Lynette Brodeur found inspiration behind the wheel of her car. But it wasn't the freedom of the road or just a good driving tune that flipped her mental switch. The radio in her car picks up only AM stations, most of which are crammed with talk shows. All of that gabbing got her thinking.

"I heard stories about gyms, financial news, and everything else," she says. So the wine consultant asked herself, "Why not a radio show about food and wine?" Why not, indeed.

The Food and Wine Show, a live, half-hour program hosted by Brodeur, will debut July 4 on WDJA-AM (850). Every Saturday a panel, including a chef and a wine steward, will discuss a different cooking technique and wines that go along with the fare. The audience will be encouraged to call in with questions.

"We'll be tasting three wines and three dishes," Brodeur says. The theme of the first show is "Wines Good With Grilled Foods." One of the entrees, courtesy of Las Olas Cafe, will be rack of lamb, which will be matched with an appropriate wine, preferably a sturdy red, such as a medium-bodied merlot or a full-bodied cabernet. A white wine or lighter red would be overpowered by the rich flavor of lamb, Brodeur says. But she won't get any more specific.

"My guests are going to be more knowledgeable than myself," she explains. "My friends call me a 'connoisseur.' I call myself an 'educated consumer.'"

Brodeur, age 42, was educated while working for years as a waitress and as a sales representative for a wine distributor. "Everyone wanted to sell wine, but no one was taking the time to talk to customers about it," she says.

So she opened her own wine-consulting firm, The Wine Experience, and brought the business with her to Fort Lauderdale when she moved from Maine three years ago. Now she's taking what she sees as the next logical step.

"I had to find a way to get [consumers'] attention that wasn't taking away from their daily routine," she says. Radio, she realized, is the perfect vehicle.

"It's an audience-participation show," she says. "It will be fun and educational." The lesson? "I want to get them to try a good bottle of wine."

-- John Ferri

The Food and Wine Show debuts July 4 and will air every Saturday at 3:30 p.m. on WDJA-AM (850). Listeners with questions for the experts may call 888-850-8507. For additional show information, call 954-564-9383.

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John Ferri

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