I asked, and James May answered. Here's what he thought of my boozy question...
During the Live Pub Quiz, I asked James what his favorite wine region was, and what car he'd drive though. Tell us your answer in the comments!
I was pleasantly surprised our lovely chief editor Rachael Hogg picked this question to be read aloud to the famously slow, James May. Here was the exchange:
What’s your favorite wine region, and the ideal car you’d drive through?
James - "God blimey, that’s a big one… For convenience, I would say France, although, I would be very happy to drive through Australia or some part of America, or Lebanon as well. "
"Let’s say, for argument sake, the Colombier Mountains, and I would go in my Alpine [A110], since it is French. Although, it wouldn’t carry a great deal of wine because the luggage space is absolutely pathetic... I’ll just stop and stay over night at each one [winery]."
"That was a very serious and very sophisticated question. Whoever did that, you don’t belong on here, bugger off."
Why was this a satisfying answer? And what does it say about May?
James, being the mostly reasonable character he is, took in consideration some New World regions, but kept his answer realistically within the confines of Europe. I was excited to hear the endorsement of Lebanon, because the wines are as fantastic as they are obscure; but in the end, France was his destination of choice. Which is what I expected, but the specific region he mentioned, I did not.
Photo Courtesy of Parc Naturel Regional
Mont Colombier is a mountain in the Bauges Massif, a sub-alpine mountain range that incorporates the Savoie wine region. This was a more surprising answer for two reasons. 1.) It is a lesser known wine region on the boarder of the Swiss-Italian Alps, and 2.) for someone to be sipping a big, jammy, Ridge Winery Zinfandel, I couldn't think of a more polar opposite style of wine than those of Savoie. All of the wines I've experienced from Savoie are beautifully delicate and finessed. California Zinfandel varies in style, but more often than not, it's an extremely bold and loud wine. This really helped illustrate James's versatile preference in wine and I commend him for that. It's the sign of a true wine enthusiast! Unless, his answer was based on the quality of roads in that region.
Photo Courtesy of My Cycling Challenge
Well, apart from the occasional cyclist, these switchback hillsides are perfect for May's Alpine A110. I was a little underwhelmed by the choice of car, not because the Alpine is by any means underwhelming (I would certainly love one), but simply because it was what expected him to say. Despite anticipating his answer, I felt it was a very appropriate answer. You have a unique French wine region, coupled with a unique French sports car, in an area unfamiliar to the burden of traffic and Paris-like tourism. It would be a tremendous experience, and even though I was told to "bugger off", I think I'll stay and continue sharing these anecdotes on wine and cars.
To answer my own question, I would have to drive through the Wachau region of Austria in something as exotic and austere as their wines... like a Spyker C8 Aileron. I'd love to hear what Hammond or Clarkson's answer would be. Anyone willing to reach out?
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- The Angry Somm