'Oz & James Big French Wine Adventure'
(James May, Oz Clarke / 2-Disc DVD / NR / 2011 / BFS Entertainment)
Overview: Top Gear's overgrown boy racer, scruff bag and beer drinker James May knows nothing about wine and loathes what he calls "wine ponces." Award winning wine writer and critic Oz Clarke, on the other hand, is one of the world's leading authorities on French wine. For 6 weeks, TV's oddest couple drive through some of France's most beautiful wine regions in James's Jaguar XJS - with much amusing verbal sparring along the way.
DVD Verdict: My goodness, what a delightful, quirky, fun British show this was. Here, the first series focuses on French wine and was first broadcast in the autumn of 2006. Yes, nearly six years ago, amazingly.
A totally upbeat, lovel show from the BBC (England), this six-episode mini-series is just another fine example of how a simple 25-minute long episode can have you engaged, hooked, and wishing for it never to end!
And, of course, along the way - whether you are a wine novice or are well educated on wines - choices are made, choices are given, and results are swilled, swallowed and gargled for your enjoyment!
Over the weeks shown, Clarke and May traveled around France's wine regions in an 1989 Jaguar XJ-S convertible that had been modernized by Knowles-Wilkins Engineering. The premise is that wine critic, author and actor Oz Clarke decided to take British TV star, car racer, beer lover, and wine ignorant James May (Top Gear, UK) on this month long journey through France to see if he could educate May on wine.
They traveled in May's Jaguar XJ-S, camped out in tents and got to drink some of the rarest and best French wines. And we get to watch them! And the lightheartedness is born from the off, for when Oz asks James (in the very first episode) what taste he got from his first taste of a vintage wine, he replies, straightfaced, "Fruit juice"!
Each episode takes them to a different region (Provence, Rhone Valley, Alsace, Burgundy, etc) and also mixes wine with foods choices. I laughed and learned a whole bunch whilst watching this series. I think you will too. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.