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Oz and James take a New World wine adventure

‘Wine buff’ Oz Clarke and ‘petrolhead’ James May returned to TV screens last week for a second series of their Big Wine Adventure. After last year’s successful road trip round France, this time they’ve headed across the pond to California’s wine regions to, as Oz puts it, ‘sample the finest and foulest that the New World has to offer’.

The eight-week series, which aims to entertain while educating the viewer with wine facts along the way, sees the guys motoring in a Winnebago from Los Angeles to the Napa Valley via Santa Barbara, Monterey County and Santa Cruz. As with the last series, wine expert Oz is still trying to convert Top Gear’s beer drinker James into a wine aficionado.

The first programme focused on Pinot Noir and included a visit to the Hitching Post, the restaurant made famous by the movie Sideways. This week the guys hit Paso Robles to meet a host of rebellious winemakers who are happy to break the rules by taking grapes associated with the Old World Rhone varieties and blending them into exciting wines.

Oz and James’s Big Wine Adventure goes out on Tuesdays at 8pm on BBC2.