We signalled back in March that we had started putting our James Beard award-winning BBC series Jancis Robinson's Wine Course on our special YouTube channel.
This is to let you know that the first quarter of each programme can now be viewed, free, at www.youtube.com/jancisrobinson. There were 10 half-hour episodes in the original 1995 series, most of them centred on a specific grape variety. For ease of viewing online, each episode has been sliced into four parts that last about seven or eight minutes each. I'm amazed how good they look on an iPhone. The series was one of the last BBC series to be shot on film rather than video, although film junkies are able to pick out the one or two short video sequences that were edited in.
Obviously there are aspects of it that are dated. My alice band, for example, and the amount and shade of male hair. And we all look so much younger, mostly because we were. Conceptually, the most dated thing is probably my concern that the entire world was about to be planted with Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. How delightful it is that the pendulum has now swung so definitively in the opposite direction.
Here you can view such luminaries as Anthony Barton, Lalou Bize Leroy, a comparatively muted Michel Chapoutier, Francis Ford Coppola, the late Didier Dagueneau, Richard Geoffroy, Randall Grahm, a particularly robust Alejandro Hernandez of Pesquera, the late Henri Jayer, Dominique Lafon (a particularly memorable sequence), the late Max Lake, Peter Lehmann, Erni Loosen, and many, many more characters, beautiful places and inside stuff.
I hope you enjoy what you find. You can still get hold of the complete set on both Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. Just be sure to order a version that is compatible with whatever you might play it on – as a cure for insomnia perhaps?