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The buddy-foodie road movie
June 27, 2011 11:51 AM   Subscribe

Bored by Bourdain? Zimmern make you go zzzzzzzz? Then this is the travel show you've been longing for: from the BBC, Oz and James's Big Wine Adventure. Think Felix and Oscar on a camper van road trip; with wine critic and dandy Oz Clarke teaching Top Gear's James May all about the noble grape. Season one finds them touring the vineyards of France. Season two, California. In the third series, Oz and James Drink to Britain, we follow the unlikely boon companions as they get soused from Plymouth to Aberdeen. Episodes are currently being rebroadcast on BBC America and are also available On Demand. Fortunately, some kind soul [IchiDeux] has put all three series up on YouTube. This is as entertaining and informative as anything you'll find on the telly. Not convinced? Here they are in Ireland. (And if you're in need of a good belly laugh, please do forward to the 12:15 mark.)
posted by wensink (10 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

 
Thanks for posting these, I remember watching some of these when they were on BBC, great "relaxation television" - though more about drinking than about travel. Their choice for the "Drink that speaks for modern Britain" was perfect.
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 12:10 PM on June 27, 2011


My enjoyment of Top Gear has been pretty well documented here on the Blue, but I've come to realize that I actually like the presenters other projects very nearly just as much.

James May's Toy Stories, and Man Lab are both a lot of fun and Richard Hammonds Engineering Connections (once you get past the frequent need to blow stuff up) is legitimately fascinating.

I've been meaning to check this out and this'll be just the push I needed to actually do it.
posted by quin at 12:17 PM on June 27, 2011


"Wine ponce" has now become a regular part of my vocabulary after watching Oz and James.
posted by gyc at 12:22 PM on June 27, 2011


Here's hoping no US producers try for an American version. That said, I'm really struggling to come up with a couple that's comparably charming. Robert Parker and, uh, Jimmy Fallon?
posted by wensink at 12:48 PM on June 27, 2011


They are an adorable pair. I enjoyed watching the previous series because it has wine facts!, and May gets sloshed and rambles about things. As a TG fan, it amuses the hell out of me to see him be the unenlightened yob in the relationship.

And I can't help but to get a little stupidly verklempt when he finally says something that makes Oz proud.
posted by heatvision at 2:50 PM on June 27, 2011


Mr hippybear and I have been watching this series on BBC America. The France trip started out slow but got better as James got better informed (and so did we). The California trip has been an outright riot of laughter regularly, and has been surprising for the things we've learned (again). I'm interested to hear they've done a third series, and look forward to that also appearing for us to watch.

It's one of those shows which is typical of British reality television -- educational, entertaining, non-competitive, and downright fun. I wish the US would follow suit and have some similar series. I'm so tired of reality television which is all about who gets eliminated at the end of the episode.
posted by hippybear at 4:20 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


That said, I'm really struggling to come up with a couple that's comparably charming. Robert Parker and, uh, Jimmy Fallon?

I think Jimmy Fallon and ?uestlove doing a trip like this could be hilarious.
posted by hippybear at 4:26 PM on June 27, 2011


You know, I don't like the wine guy right away when he refers to a wine as "Creamy". Things with a creamy texture are heavy, fatty and sweet. If your wine is any of those three things, something has gone horribly horribly wrong somewhere.

This may be part for the course for wine descriptions and the sort of people who describe wine, which seem to use words as a kind of free form poetry to describe the sensation they get when drinking a very expensive alcoholic beverage in front of an audience, but it still gets on my tits.

Richard E. Grant did a brutally dead on parody of this kind of thing in Posh Nosh.
posted by Grimgrin at 5:03 PM on June 27, 2011


You know, I don't like the wine guy right away when he refers to a wine as "Creamy". Things with a creamy texture are heavy, fatty and sweet.
posted by Grimgrin at 1:03 AM on June 2


Umm... you know this sort of description is intended to convey broad, relative impressions, not to be taken literally, right?
posted by Decani at 6:03 PM on June 27, 2011


Plus Oz takes the time to explain what these words mean when applied to wine. It's very educational, in a way that doesn't oblige me to take on a serious wine appreciation hobby.

I really enjoyed seeing these when a friend passed them on to me. Several lines became part of our regular drinking vocab, like "And that's a wine fact!" whenever someone says "oops I've spilled my drink", or announcing "There's a dog" when we see one out and about. And if we're drinking perry or cider, we like to attempt James May's song about where his blackbird be.

What I really want is for them to tour Australia, although it'd have to be more like the British one with beer and such included with the wine.
posted by harriet vane at 7:39 PM on June 28, 2011


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