Blog: What the UK wine consumer's REALLY like
Olly Wehring | 20 December 2006
Wine, after a several-year hiatus, has made it back onto UK primetime television, and it has done so in some style. Oz and James’s Big Wine Adventure features well-known UK wine journalist Oz Clarke and James May, a presenter from the BBC’s motor show, Top Gear, as they travel France’s wine regions with only a tent in the back of their convertible car for shelter.
The premise is that, whilst James May likes his wine, he, like almost all of the UK population, knows very little about it. It’s Clarke’s challenge to try and convince him there is a fascinating, vinous world out there to explore. May spends most of his time dismissing “wine ponces”, preferring to ditch the tasting notes and just knock the stuff back.
It is an undoubted victory for the industry to get wine back on mainstream TV, but the programme has also served as a warning about how far the industry still has to go to educate the UK public in even the basics.
May becomes most baffled whenever the subject of terroir comes up. Last week he stood in a vineyard as Clarke and a winegrower waxed lyrical about the soil a particular vineyard was growing in. He wondered out loud how the vineyard owner could care so much about the soil when heavy-duty Renault trucks spewed diesel fumes all over his precious grapes every two minutes from the road that ran next to the plot.
“There is no English translation for terroir in the Oxford English Dictionary,” he says later. “But if there was, it would probably read ‘poppycock’.”
With some predictability, May does come round in the end, but this is after six weeks in France, with one of the UK’s leading wine experts, whilst filming a TV programme on wine.
What hope, then, for the average UK Joe?
Paul Walsh just can't stay away from the drinks industry....
For those people looking to the Red Planet as shining utopia away from all things earth, look away now....
Bacardi's 42 Below vodka brand has found a novel way to use the lemons left over from cocktail-making: Turn them into liquid soap....
Philadelphia’s soda tax came into force on Sunday, and is reportedly causing a stir in the city's check-out aisles....
- Have spirits companies forgotten the mainstream?
- Does alcohol accelerate the onset of dementia?
- Pernod's mood darkens over India - Analysis
- Ten questions for Diageo - Analysis
- Why Scotch must drop the 'malts good, blends bad'
- Moet Hennessy unaffected by LVMH Dior buy
- Distell acquires majority stake in Cruz Vodka
- Diageo to cut 105 jobs in Scotland, 50 in Italy
- Portman Group heads to Tesco for new chief exec
- William Grant names Europe & NA Travel Retail head
- Global Scotch insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Global Champagne and sparkling wine insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Battle of the Generations - The fight for iGen, Millennial, Gen X and Baby Boomer consumers
- Myanmar - ISA Country Report
- Craft Beer: Coming of Age or Past Its Prime?