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February 16, 2009

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Tim Elliott

And James is driving at the same time, no less!

This is from the first season of the BBC show, "Oz and James' Big Wine Adventure" which I was able to find online. Season 2 was set in California which was somewhat better overall but didn't have a bit like this for YouTube.

The 3rd series just started last month and is focused on the wine of the UK. Will have to see if I can find this one as they have figured out how to make a 30 minute wine show entertaining and informative.

Mike Duffy

Here's the full text of what James says:

Wine is made from grapes in regions of France by Communists. It is put into barrels where it ferments owing to the presence of natural yeasts on the outside of the grape, and sugar inside the grape. The flavor of grapes themselves is not particularly distinctive, although there are over 2,000 varieties of them available to the grower. The flavor really comes through the fermentation process, and more importantly from something the French call "terroir", which is the environment in which the grape grows and includes everything from soil to the rocks to the climate and the wind and the direction of the sun and the character of the local people. Bordeaux is an area full of ... that live in big chateaux and produce extremely nice wines, but they all cost over 65 pounds a bottle. Elsewhere in France you have rustics living in sheds who make wine in a bucket and it tastes absolutely, bloodyawful. In the New World some of the grape varieties that have made French Wine very famous are used to grow very nice, very consistent wines, and these wine varieties appear on the label; however, in France they don't do this because that would make it too easy. They wouldn't be able to charge quite as much money and talk quite so much ... about the subject. So as a result of this, French winemakers will talk endlessly about terroir and not mention the grape variety at all, whereas in the New World they will say "This is a Cabernet. Cabernet makes men randy. Chardonnay grapes cause women's nipples to become erect, helping them to have sexual intercourse when they're at parties. It is a good idea if you're on a date with a woman to give her Chardonnay, if you're woman on a date with a man to give him Cabernet which will make him sexually aroused."

Laurence Sterling

James May has a hell of lot more experience in front of a camera.

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