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Jancis Robinson’s Wine Course: Discover the TV Collection That Launched the Wines of the World (1995)

“The phrase ‘connoisseur’ just isn’t a lovely one,” writes Jancis Robinson in her memoir Tasting Pleasure: Confessions of a Wine Lover. “It smacks of exclusivity, preciousness and elitism.” Certainly, “connoisseurship just isn’t a crucial state for wine appreciation. It’s completely doable to get pleasure from wine enormously with out actually understanding it. However a connoisseur sees every particular person wine in its historic, geographical and sociological context and is actually delicate to its prospects.” Those that drink wine too carelessly or too stringently, “those that is not going to meet a wine midway, and who persistently ignore the story every wine has to inform, deprive themselves of a big a part of the potential pleasure related to every bottle.”

How greatest to expertise that pleasure — or somewhat, how greatest to achieve the state of connoisseurship that makes it accessible within the first place? One might do worse than beginning with the works of Robinson herself, who’s not simply one of the crucial revered wine writers alive as we speak, but in addition onetime supervisor of the luxurious wine choice on British Airways’ Concorde and advisor for the wine cellar of the late Queen Elizabeth II.

Since she started overlaying wine professionally almost half a century in the past, she has produced quite a lot of work in print in addition to for the display screen. Among the many latter, maybe probably the most formidable is Jancis Robinson’s Wine Course, whose ten episodes initially aired on BBC 2 in 1995 and at the moment are obtainable to look at on Robinson’s personal Youtube channel.

With this $1.6 million manufacturing, Robinson was “set free on the wine world, far an excessive amount of of the time in full make-up, with freshly achieved hair and garments backed by an official BBC price range.” Dedicating every episode to a distinct grape varietal “allowed us inside a single program to go to a couple of area — and subsequently range the surroundings, structure and local weather. It additionally mirrored my passionate curiosity in grape varieties and my conviction that coming to grips with an important grapes offers the best path to studying about wine.” The yearlong shoot took her and her workforce across the globe, visiting winemakers wherever they may very well be discovered: France, Germany, Australia, Chile, and even northern California, the place they managed an viewers with auteur-vintner Francis Ford Coppola.

“The battle between the New and Outdated Worlds of wine was coming properly to a head at simply the best time for our collection, Robinson notes.” These worlds have settled right into a form of relative peace within the many years since — as has the “Chardonnay increase” of the mid-nineteen-nineties, about which Robinson lets slip some frustration onscreen. Regardless of her huge data and expertise of wine, Robinson seldom exhibits any hesitancy to crack a joke, and certainly her continued prominence as a wine educator owes one thing to that humorousness, on show in the Talks at Google interview about her 2016 e-book The 24-Hour Wine Knowledgeable. Extra just lately, she entered into one other collaboration with the BBC, particularly the brand new BBC Maestro on-line training platform, to create the course “An Understanding of Wine.” In all pursuits, understanding is the idea of enjoyment — however in wine, much more so.

Episodes of Jancis Robinson’s Wine Course:


Associated content material:

A Classic Wine Course (UC Davis, 1973)

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Based mostly in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and tradition. His initiatives embrace the Substack e-newsletter Books on Cities, the e-book The Stateless Metropolis: a Stroll by means of Twenty first-Century Los Angeles and the video collection The Metropolis in Cinema. Comply with him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Fb.



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