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

“The phrase ‘connoisseur’ just isn’t a beautiful 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 needed state for wine appreciation. It’s completely doable to take pleasure in wine enormously with out actually understanding it. However a connoisseur sees every particular person wine in its historic, geographical and sociological context and is really delicate to its potentialities.” 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 giant a part of the potential pleasure related to every bottle.”

How greatest to expertise that pleasure — or quite, 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 some of the revered wine writers alive at present, 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 practically half a century in the past, she has produced a substantial amount of work in print in addition to for the display screen. Among the many latter, maybe essentially the most formidable is Jancis Robinson’s Wine Course, whose ten episodes initially aired on BBC 2 in 1995 and at the moment are out there to look at on Robinson’s personal Youtube channel.

With this $1.6 million manufacturing, Robinson was “set unfastened on the wine world, far an excessive amount of of the time in full make-up, with freshly performed hair and garments sponsored by an official BBC finances.” Dedicating every episode to a unique grape varietal “allowed us inside a single program to go to a couple of area — and subsequently fluctuate the surroundings, structure and local weather. It additionally mirrored my passionate curiosity in grape varieties and my conviction that coming to grips with a very powerful grapes supplies the simplest path to studying about wine.” The yearlong shoot took her and her group 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 Previous Worlds of wine was coming properly to a head at simply the proper time for our collection, Robinson notes.” These worlds have settled right into a type 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 information 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 ebook The 24-Hour Wine Professional. Extra 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 delight — 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 embody the Substack publication Books on Cities, the ebook The Stateless Metropolis: a Stroll by Twenty first-Century Los Angeles and the video collection The Metropolis in Cinema. Observe him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Fb.



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