Simon Hoggart rss

Christmas Mixed Case

12 December 2013

This is our positively final offer of the year, and the famed old St James merchants, Berry Bros. & Rudd, have come up with a stunning mixed case which would… Read more

December Wine Club

5 December 2013

A good wine, as I say in my book Life’s Too Short To Drink Bad Wine (now in a new, revised, nifty-looking edition) is a wine you like drinking. Which… Read more

November Mini-Bar

21 November 2013

Graham Mitchell, who calls himself the Wine Explorer, comes from one of England’s leading wine families. His great-grandfather had a watering hole in Fleet Street, and wanted to be Lord… Read more

November Wine Club

7 November 2013

As a highly trained economist I know the rule: you can tell how fast a recession is lifting by the start of Christmas. This year it began three months early,… Read more

October Mini-Bar

24 October 2013

This month’s mini-bar is from the estimable Yapp Bros, who specialise in fossicking out first-rate wines, often from small vineyards, in the Loire and the Rhône. These are subtle and… Read more

October Wine Club

10 October 2013

An offer made by FromVineyardsDirect is always exciting, which is why FVD is one of our bestselling merchants. Their list is short, but selected with immense care. And they also… Read more

September Mini-Bar

26 September 2013

It’s a curious fact that the recession has increased sales of the more expensive wines. Merchants put this down to people being unwilling to pay for restaurant meals — and… Read more

Drinks Supplement Offer

19 September 2013

Welcome back to Berry Bros. & Rudd, the unfeasibly posh wine merchants in St James’s, London. They left The Spectator fold some years ago, but are now home again, which… Read more

September Wine Club

12 September 2013

The magazine The Drinks Business recently published a list of the ten most annoying descriptions of wine. I agree with most of their judgments: for instance, ‘icon’ is just a… Read more

August Mini-Bar

29 August 2013

Four wines, four different countries, four different grapes. All these come from Adnams of Southwold, the -admirable brewers, who also ship superb wines from around the world. Their selection is… Read more

August Wine Club

17 August 2013

This month we have the first full offer from Swig, the adventurous young merchants from west London. You wouldn’t go to Swig if you wanted a list of every vintage… Read more

August Mini-Bar

1 August 2013

Mark Cronshaw at The Wine Company of Colchester has helped me assemble half a dozen luscious wines. They are pricier than our normal range, but by golly they’re good, and… Read more

July Wine Club

20 July 2013

Recent American research shows, as if we didn’t know, that wine tasting is unreliable and scatter-brained. Wines that taste feeble in the morning can be delicious at night. A wine… Read more

July Mini-Bar

6 July 2013

Gordon Ramsay is a terrible fraud. Friends of ours lived near him, and one Christmas their little boy made mince pies. ‘Do you think Mr Ramsay might like my pies?’… Read more

June Wine Club

22 June 2013

The other day I was chatting to Mimi Avery, of the famous Bristol wine importing firm. She said that she couldn’t understand how some supermarkets can offer bottles of wine… Read more

June mini-bar

6 June 2013

I was lucky enough to attend the 650th anniversary dinner for the Vintners’ Company last month. Some of the greatest winemakers in the world (Edouard Moueix, Aubert de Villaine of… Read more

May Wine Club

25 May 2013

Corney & Barrow are proud to have the royal warrant, meaning that they provide the Palace with some of the greatest — and necessarily most expensive — wines from around… Read more

May Mini-bar

8 May 2013

The prices of the top Bordeaux reds are down this year, though you can still pay hundreds of pounds a bottle for the most famous labels. What puzzles me is… Read more

April Wine Club

25 April 2013

I have been enjoying Growing Up in Restaurants by James Pembroke (Quartet), which is largely autobiographical, but also covers the history of eating out in this country, including the darkest days… Read more

April Mini-bar

11 April 2013

These are some of the most luscious wines I’ve ever offered to readers. They are all Spanish, from The Haciendas Company, and if you don’t quite believe me, and if… Read more

March Wine Bar

27 March 2013

The other day I had one of those awkward moments. We were guests at dinner. ‘You’re a wine writer!’ said our host. ‘I’d like your opinion on these two!’ You’re… Read more

March Mini-bar

14 March 2013

Adam Brett-Smith of Corney & Barrow says this offer contains two of the least expensive fine wines in the world. He’s probably right. We are offering both, plus a couple… Read more

March Wine Club

28 February 2013

An excellent selection of European wines this week from Private Cellar, the first-rate East Anglian merchants who sell loads of fine, established wines but always keep an eye open for… Read more

February Mini-bar

21 February 2013

The annual offer of Château Musar is here, and The Wine Company of  Colchester has again given us some very generous discounts. I never recommend wine as an investment, partly… Read more

February Mini-bar

13 February 2013

Around twice a year, I visit the Swig world HQ (an office in Chiswick, west London) and taste some of the most delicious wines known to humanity. Next day I… Read more