Jancis Robinson OBE MW
Published on October 16 2012.
One of the world’s best loved wine communicators, wine columnist for the Financial Times and editor of The Oxford Companion to Wine. Her latest book is the encyclopedic Wine Grapes, co-authored with Julia Harding MW and Dr José Vouillamoz.
Jancis was the first person outside the wine trade to pass the rigorous Master of Wine exams and in 2003 she was awarded an OBE by Her Majesty the Queen, on whose cellar she now advises.
Where did you grow up?
Cumbria just North of England's Lake District in a village of 40 people.
Have you always worked in the wine industry? Any other hidden talents?
My seminal wine was a Chambolle-Musigny, Les Amoureuses 1959 drunk when at Oxford in 1970. But wine and food were then viewed as terminally frivolous in the UK so I didn't dare try to work in those fields, and instead spent 3 yrs in the travel business and a year in Provence before returning to London determined to find a job in either food or wine. I Was taken on as assistant of wine trade magazine in 75, replacing Tony Lord. I didn't have much relevant experience but they were impressed by the organising ability I'd shown in my travel job and that I'd organise myself to learn about wine.
What is your most memorable wine experience?
Among so many, tasting through the bizarre contents of a Russian wine museum.
Your favourite food or wine indulgence?
Peanut butter, salted caramels
Who has been your greatest influence?
Edmund Penning-Rowsell, my predecessor at the Financial Times. He taught me to be humble, grateful and never to be ashamed of professing ignorance. And never think of the price when you drink a wine.
How do you like to relax when you’re not working?
Going on holiday with my family. So long as I can get online to fiddle with JancisRobinson.com!
What would be your top 5 dream list of wines?
Do I have to? Hate this sort of question but we could start with one particular mag of Cheval Blanc 1947 and DRC Montrachet 1978. Cockburn 1908.