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Jancis Robinson MW

Updated on July 28, 2014

One Of The World's Leading Wine Writers

Jancis Mary Robinson OBE, MW (born in Cumbria on April 22, 1950) is a British wine critic, journalist and editor of wine literature. She currently writes a weekly column for the Financial Times, and writes for her website She also provides advice for Queen Elizabeth II's wine cellar.

In 1984 she became the first person outside the wine trade to become a Master of Wine. She also served as British Airways's wine consultant, she supervised the famous BA Concorde cellar.

As a wine writer, she has become one of the world's leading writers of educational and encyclopedic material on wine. The Oxford Companion to Wine, edited by Robinson, is generally considered to be the most complete wine encyclopedia. The first edition was published in 1994, and took five years to write after she was signed on as editor in 1988.

Jancis Robinson's Biography

First non-wine trade member to become a Master of Wine

Robinson studied mathematics and philosophy at Oxford University and worked for a travel company after leaving university. Robinson started her wine writing career on December 1, 1975 when she became assistant editor for the trade magazine Wine & Spirit.

In addition, The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson is one of the leading wine atlases.

In 1995, Jancis Robinson appeared in a 10-episode wine course on BBC 2 television. This series has later been reissued on DVD. A book titled Jancis Robinson's Wine Course was written to accompany the series and has gone through several editions.

She has an honorary doctorate from the Open University, and was made an OBE in 2003, among numerous other awards for her writing. Her accolades include multiple Glenfiddich Awards and André Simon Memorial Awards, and Decanter's "1999 (Wo)Man of the Year".

Following a difference of opinion with Robert Parker over the 2003 vintage of Château Pavie, the media coverage frequently described a "war of words" between the two critics. Less dramatic than the predominant press view, Robinson and Parker have a cordial relationship.

Jancis Robinson is married to the food writer Nick Lander; they have three children called Julia, William and Rose.

World Atlas of Wine - by Hugh Johnson & Jancis Robinson

"This is the best collaboration of two Brits since Lennon and McCartney."

Ben Gilberti, Washington Post

Aspire to Quality


...loves and lives for wine in all its glorious diversity, generally favouring balance and subtlety over sheer mass.

How to Taste:

A Guide to Enjoying Wine

"Perhaps the most talented of the world's wine writers with a seemingly infinite ability to fashion informative, accurate books that are essential reading."-- Robert M. Parker, Jr.

"By a long measure the best wine writer in the world."-- Paul Levy, The Wall Street Journal

"The woman who makes the wine world gulp when she unpretentious as Beaujolais Nouveau."-- Jerry Shriver, USA Today

"I have watched her slowly tighten her grip on the wine world with awe...Don't be fooled by her twinkling television persona; her serious purpose is to open the wine world to all comers, at all levels. In the process she has become a household name -- for good."-- Hugh Johnson

"Perhaps the best wine writer in the world!"

Great Jancis Robinson stuff from Amazon

The Oxford Companion to Wine - by Jancis Robinson

"The one essential book for any wine lover"

Eric Asimov, New York Times

The Oxford Companion to Wine
The Oxford Companion to Wine
The Oxford Companion To Wine - 3rd Edition is a complete encyclopedia of wine. All you need to know about wine is here in alphabetical order for quick and easy reference. A masterpiece for wine professionals and students alike. Highly recommended.

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Jancis Robinson's Wine Course: A Guide to the World of Wine
Jancis Robinson's Wine Course: A Guide to the World of Wine
The enormous variety of wines available today can be baffling even to an experienced buyer. Anyone who enters a wine store is immediately confronted by rows and rows of racks filled with a myriad of choices. Where do you begin when all you want is a reasonably priced quality wine to serve with dinner? Jancis Robinson can make anyone an expert, or at least an informed buyer, in short order. In this comprehensive guide to the wine-producing countries of the world, she captures the flavor of each regionâs wines and presents her personal recommendations on the best names from around the world, with thirty-two completely new pages covering the latest developments in South America, South Africa, and Eastern Europe. Robinson also describes the distinctive characteristics of hundreds of different grape varieties and studies the traditional and innovative methods employed in the creation of great wines. A fully updated vintage guide makes selection even easier. Dedicated to ensuring that you get the most out of every glass, Jancis Robinsonâs Wine Course explains how to taste and store wine, what to serve on special occasions at home, and how to order the best value from a restaurant wine list. Full of infectious enthusiasm and heaps of personal tips, this book will soon have you reaching for the corkscrew.
Jancis Robinson's Concise Wine Companion
Jancis Robinson's Concise Wine Companion
From the apprentice to the connoisseur, wine buffs will be enchanted, informed, even surprised by this fabulous guide to the world of wine, now in a portable format. Beautifully presented and unrivalled in its scope, this volume is edited under the acute supervision of the "queen of wine" Jancis Robinson who presents a distillation of all the essential information for wine-lovers and would-be wine lovers. Drawn from the internationally celebrated Oxford Companion to Wine--that won every major wine book award, including the Julia Child and the James Beard awards--this new edition contains all the award-winning detail in an affordable, easy-to-handle package. Offering over 2,350 fully accessible and completely cross-referenced entries, this volume covers every aspect of wine, from wine regions to tasting terms, from labeling to grape varieties, and from the faults of wine to the healthy benefits of wine. Written by over seventy of the world's best wine experts, this volume also provides a guide to vintages and a complete list of controlled appellations and their permitted grape varieties. Additional features include a statistical overview of wine production and consumption and a new listing of Robinson's personal selection of up-and-coming wine regions and producers. Lavishly designed, Concise Wine Companion also displays exquisite black-and-white and full color illustrations, as well as maps of nearly every wine region in the world. Authoritative yet entertaining, this ultimate--and now handy--reference on wine and wine-making is the perfect volume to enrich a lifetime's enjoyment of this intoxicating topic.
Jancis Robinson's Wine Course - Introduction and Chardonnay
Jancis Robinson's Wine Course - Introduction and Chardonnay
In the introduction to her wine course, Jancis Robinson instantly makes viewers feel comfortable with their level of wine understanding. She points out that even among the experts, people frequently disagree about what is a quality wine, taking us to a wine tasting in which participants vehemently differ in their opinions. Then she acquaints us with the basics of how wine is made. One caveat to this video: be prepared for much spitting; wine tasters don't swallow their wine (a hazard of the job). The second half of this tape covers Chardonnays and their quest to take over the world. Also explained is the importance of the oak barrels used to store the wine. --Jenny Brown
Jancis Robinson's Wine Course
Jancis Robinson's Wine Course
Over the course of five videos, Jancis Robinson gives us a basic understanding of wine: how it is made, how to appreciate it, how to properly store, open, and drink it. Robinson is an expert in the field, editor of The Oxford Companion to Wine, as well as a columnist for the Wine Spectator. These tapes, though, are not just about the drink; just as interesting is her look into the people behind the wines. Each video introduces a new locale and the people who cultivate the grapes and turn them into nectar. Robinson never speaks down to her viewer--she points out that wine should not be a serious subject, that its point is to provide pleasure--although she is frequently a bit condescending to the vintners in her interviews, making the show all the more amusing. Some of the best moments occur when she offers a winemaker a taste of the competitor's wine--somehow they never think it is quite up their own standards. She revels in revealing the scandals and failures of the wine world, providing a gossipy feel. While the wine course is more than enough reason to watch this series, the cinematography is spectacular, beautifully highlighting the wine-growing regions of the world--from Australia to Chile to Oregon to Europe. Mixing history and culture with nuts and bolts, this set is a perfect place to start if you have little or no previous knowledge of wine. --Jenny Brown
Jancis Robinson's Guide to Wine Grapes
Jancis Robinson's Guide to Wine Grapes
Hailed by the Wine Advocate as "perhaps the most gifted of all wine writers writing today," Jancis Robinson has been voted the Wine Writer's Wine Writer by her peers, dubbed "the undisputed mistress of the kingdom of wines" by France's Madame Figaro, and won the 1995 Wine Literary Award of the Wine Appreciation Guild. Holding the prestigious rank of Master of Wine, Robinson lectures and judges all over the world, and recently hosted a ten-part PBS series Jancis Robinson's Wine Course. She also edited The Oxford Companion to Wine, which won every major wine book award in 1995--including the Julia Child Cookbook Award (Wine, Beer, or Spirits) and The James Beard Book Award--and which has been praised by Frank Prial in The New York Times as "easily the most complete compendium of wine knowledge assembled in modern times," and by Anthony Dias Blue as "one of the definitive reference books on the subject." Now, in Jancis Robinson's Guide to Wine Grapes, Robinson provides wine aficionados with a handy, on-the-spot guide to the most central aspect of wine making--the grapes themselves. Here are over 850 grapes, ranging from such widely acclaimed vines as Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Muscat, Pinot Noir, Riesling, and Sauvignon Blanc, to economically important if less distinguished vines such as Airen, Grenache, Muller-Thurgau, Trebbiano, Syrah, and Rkatsiteli. Robinson offers a fact-filled introduction--discussing everything from rootstocks and wine blends, to vine pests and disease--and glossary of technical terms (from botrytis and carbonic maceration, to fanleaf and foxy, to skin, sugars, tannins, and yield). She then examines the world's grape varieties in alphabetical order, describing the basic characteristics of the wine produced by the grape (dry, sweet, high or low acidity, the bouquet), its likely quality, the regions that produce the best wine, and, if a blended wine, the blends that yield the best results. (As an added guide to the wine a grape might produce, the Guide includes an easy-to-use visual aid: a horizontal bar with a band which shows the range of quality, from ordinary to superb.) Robinson also shares much fascinating wine history, her deep insight into the wine industry, and more important, her own judgment on a wine. And Robinson does not hedge in judging a wine: discussing Carignan, France's most planted red wine, she comments "Its wine is high in everything--acidity, tannins, color, bitterness--but flavor and charm. This gives it the double inconvenience of being unsuitable for early consumption yet unworthy of maturation." And for Trebbiano, the most planted white grape in Italy (and with Ugni Blanc, which is the name of the grape in France, the second most planted white grape in the world), Robinson notes "the word Trebbiano in a wine name almost invariably signals something light, white, crisp, and uninspiring." Perhaps most important, this portable book can be used in the store as a buying guide. With Robinson's Guide, simply find the grape variety on the label--or, if not listed, turn to Robinson's unique Grapes Behind the Names appendix in the back--look up the entry on that grape, and you will discover everything you need to know to make an informed decision to buy or pass. With Jancis Robinson by your side, you can evaluate a bottle of wine on the spot, no matter where, when, or by whom it has been produced.

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