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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good wine series from 1995
This is a very good 10-episode TV production from 1995, shown on BBC 2, that mainly focuses on one grape variety per episode, and takes us to two to four regions where it has its origin or its best expression. This usually means that we get to see a bit of the old world and a bit of the new world in each episode, and get to know a bit more of the regions once they pass...
Published on 19 Feb 2006 by Eriksson Tomas

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0 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The content of the video was good but the tape was defective
It is a shame that the tape that I was sent was defective and had to be returned, as the contents of this pair of vedeos is excellent. As far as I can remember the original TV series does not appear to have been cut and despite being a few years old provides an interesting description of the wine business around the world.
Published on 28 April 2001


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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good wine series from 1995, 19 Feb 2006
By 
Eriksson Tomas (Stockholm, Sweden) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Jancis Robinson's Wine Course [DVD] (DVD)
This is a very good 10-episode TV production from 1995, shown on BBC 2, that mainly focuses on one grape variety per episode, and takes us to two to four regions where it has its origin or its best expression. This usually means that we get to see a bit of the old world and a bit of the new world in each episode, and get to know a bit more of the regions once they pass by. In each episode there is a combination of narration by Jancis Robinson MW and interviews with winemakers and some other wine personalities, together with a lot of nice scenery. In the episodes, Jancis is pedagogical and witty, and gives a very informed and balanced view of things, just as expected. Other wine-related info-bits, not exclusively related to one grape variety, such as barrel-making and wine competitions, are fit in at appropriate locations.
The 10 episodes are Aperitif (not an episode on aperitifs, but an introduction to the making and tasting of wine, Jancis own wine writing background and so on), Chardonnay (Burgundy, Australia), Cabernet Sauvignon (Bordeaux, Chile), Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand, Loire, Chile, Bordeaux), Syrah/Shiraz (Rhone, Australia, California), Riesling (Germany, Austria), Pinot Noir (Burgundy, Oregon, California), Merlot (California, Bordeaux), Grapes and gas (sparkling wines, visting Champagne, Australia and California), Grape invaders (about the planting of well-known varieties in new places and the fate of lesser-known wine styles and grape varieties, visiting Italy, Spain and Languedoc).
It is probably very sensible to have the grape-by-grape approach rather than a region-by-region/country-by-country approach, since this will more naturally focus on taste in the glass. There are also some drawbacks to this approach, in my opinion. The viewer gets a somewhat simplified view of the varieties that go into a typical French red wine, fortified wines have been all together left out, very little is said about the different styles in such huge wine countries such as Spain and Italy, and several interesting regions (Alsace, for example) and countries (Portugal, for example) are not covered at all. Obviously, you do need to make some choices in a production like this, and I can understand the choices made, but the first words on the back of the DVD box “In an encyclopaedic tour around the wine producing countries of the world…” are hardly justified in light of this.
Now, don’t be misled by the title “course” and expect to learn how the wines actually taste by just watching these programmes. You learn more about existing combinations of regions and grape varieties, how wine is actually made and the various problems that winegrowers in different regions face. Jancis doesn’t even try to fill up the programmes with taste descriptions, which is probably a good thing, and a realistic approach. Therefore, I think this DVD is more suitable for those who have at least a little wine tasting experience than for absolute beginners to wine. I am sure even complete wine nuts will also enjoy it.
In one respect this DVD deserves real criticism. Nowhere do you get to know that this series was produced in 1995. Rather, the box and the discs both say ”Copyright 2004” and nothing else. Well, you do find “MCMXCV” in the very last frame of each episode, but that’s more for the detectives among us. This doesn’t mean that the content is aged in any serious way or not worth watching, but you do get somewhat surprised when a supermarket buyer hunting for low-cost merchandise tastes a 1993 wine at a grower, when Jancis claims chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon to be the future, and so on. It is still worth watching, and I know of no younger “substitute”, but it seems obvious that someone wants to hide the series’ age!
By the way, the series was released in R1 as early as 2000, and Jancis has written a companion book to the series.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wot no extras!, 20 Feb 2006
By A Customer
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This review is from: Jancis Robinson's Wine Course [DVD] (DVD)
A great series when shown on the BBC. A little dated now but still full of really useful information. I was really looking forward to the 'extras' the DVD had over my old video copy. It would be interesting to see what Jancis had to say about wine with food. What a con! The 'extras' section of the DVD was a static page refering me to a website...what a let down.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eloquent and gets beneath the veneer of the wine industry, 28 Mar 2010
By 
Jocky (united kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Jancis Robinson's Wine Course [DVD] (DVD)
I learnt so much about wine and the wine industry from this DVD (I rented it via Lovefilm). I loved it.

Oxford educated and extremely eloquent, Jancis may be a bit of a dag, but my goodness I learnt alot. She is obviously very much a part of the inner circle of the wine club. However, this also gives her unprecedented access into this world, and she does strip away alot of the mystique that can surround wine and wine snobbery.

I would agree that there isn't so much on training your nose to taste wine (buy a Jean Lenoir Le Nez du Vin or similar instead if you want this). Instead you get a very compelling and extremely enjoyable documentary about wine and the wine industry in general.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Jancis Robinson's Wine Course, 22 Jan 2008
This review is from: Jancis Robinson's Wine Course [DVD] (DVD)
Not a course but a series of programmes. Filled with information on wine and wine making rather than opinions on wines themselves, which makes it very informative for anyone interested in wine (Although Jancis opinions do obviously dictate the subjects of the programmes).

Although the cover and menus have been updated (published 2004), and the programmes re-edited with that year in mind, the series very obviously made 13 years ago in 1995. Obviously the wine industry has moved on in the last 13 years, even France!!!

The most obvious thing is the younger women presenting the programme compared to the one on the cover!
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wine Grape Varities - not a "course"., 1 April 2006
This review is from: Jancis Robinson's Wine Course [DVD] (DVD)
Very good wine series. Each episode mainly focuses on one grape variety per episode, and looks at a couple of regions and growers where the grape is associated with. This means both the old world and some new world aspects are seen.
Other wine info, such as barrel making and wine competitions, form part of the programs.
Jancis doesn't even try to fill up the programmes with taste descriptions, which is probably a good thing, and a realistic approach. I think this DVD is more suitable for those who have at least a little wine tasting experience than for absolute beginners to wine. I am sure even complete wine nuts will also enjoy it.
At the beginning on a slight look at "How to do Wine Tasting" which surely for a wine tasting course should be more involved.
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0 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The content of the video was good but the tape was defective, 28 April 2001
By A Customer
It is a shame that the tape that I was sent was defective and had to be returned, as the contents of this pair of vedeos is excellent. As far as I can remember the original TV series does not appear to have been cut and despite being a few years old provides an interesting description of the wine business around the world.
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