Oz and James's Big Wine Adventure2006-2007
Oz and James's Big Wine Adventure is a television series first broadcast by the BBC in the autumn of 2006. It is accompanied by a book.
The programme is presented by wine expert Oz Clarke and motoring journalist James May (of Top Gear fame), the former taking it upon himself to educate the latter about wine, in particular French wine. For several weeks, they travel around France's wine regions in an 1989 Jaguar XJ-S convertible.
Although at times it gets quite technical, the programme is light in tone, much of its entertainment value deriving from the personality clashes between the refined gourmet Clarke and May, whom the former at one point describes as "an utter scruff". (This is ironic given that on Top Gear May has a habit of positioning himself as the gentleman of the three presenters.)
May is a far from ideal student and often behaves rather rudely and grumpily, being more interested in drinking wine than in talking about it. When he thinks Oz starts rambling too much, May blows on a whistle, dubbed the "Ozillator" (a pun on oscillator).
At the beginning of their journey, May is someone who likes to drink wine, but knows next to nothing about it. Clarke teaches him the basics about smells and texture and about grape varieties, shows him how wine is made, what wine goes with what food and also focuses the culture surrounding wine. The two visit wine makers of all kinds, from ones in small sheds to prestigious operations like Champagne Krug. Clarke quizzes May a few times, often with embarrassing results, but ultimately May does pick up certain things.