Let’s Be Fair: Kathie Lee Didn’t Drink All That Much Wine on the ‘Today’ Show
About 5,300 glasses of wine were served during Kathie Lee’s run, but when you do the math...
On Friday, Kathie Lee Gifford ended her 11-year run hosting Today on NBC. Frankly, I’ve never watched the show — I’m not their target audience — but I was very much aware of it, in part, because of a different show I watched: Saturday Night Live. During her run as a cast member, Kristen Wiig regularly portrayed Gifford as wine-loving nut who was constantly sipping on her glass of white among other antics. So as a result, regardless of how accurate that impression was, wine-consumption became an indelible part of my idea of the Kathie Lee- and Hoda-hosted hour of Today show.
Fitting then that, as VinePair reports, wine consumption — and specifically, just how much of it happened — came up during Gifford’s final day. As part of a reflective quiz show she played with co-host Hoda Kotb, Gifford was asked to guess how many glasses of wine had been served during her time at Today. The choices were 2,500, 5,300, and 10,800 — and Kathie Lee immediately guessed that they’d had over 10,000. Turns out she was wrong, the actual number was 5,300. “That’s not a lot over 11 years,” Gifford stated.
To be fair, we can #TheyDidTheMath on this one, and she’s not wrong. It comes out to about 482 glasses per year, and assuming they’re talking about glasses doled out to both her and Hoda, that’s 241 glasses per person. There are about 261 weekdays a year, so that’s about one glass per day per person. Plenty of doctors would recommend that for good health — and it’s certainly not enough to reach Wiig-depiction level.
According to our own Ray Isle, who as Food & Wine’s Executive Wine Editor appeared on Today plenty of times to discuss vino, indeed, Gifford kept things very professional. “Kathie Lee and Hoda definitely played the wine up,” he says. “They looked like they were downing glass after glass, but typically they weren’t drinking much at all.”
However, Isle offered up one exception: “Kathie did tell me one time, though, that the only time they really had to watch out was when my [wine expert] pal Leslie Sbrocco or I came on to do a wine segment — because we’d always bring six or seven wines and they’d have to try them all. What can I say? I plead guilty!”