Drink

Put your trust in Hungarian wine (yes, really)

28 April 2018 9:00 am

The wines of Tokaji run like a golden thread through Hungarian history. There are references to their nectar-like quality in…

Too much too young: allow some wines to sleep long and peacefully

14 April 2018 9:00 am

This April is the cruellest month, but not in the sense that Eliot intended. Memory and desire are mixed: memory…

When it comes to food and wine, there’s no place like Rhône

31 March 2018 8:00 am

As often, a good glass stimulated good talk. We were drinking some promising young Rhônes and the discussion ranged wide,…

Big two-hearted river: the wines of the Rhône

17 March 2018 9:00 am

The Rhône is a strong river. The Loire derives graciousness from its châteaux. The Rhine and the Thames have been…

Kilchoman isn't a good whisky; it's a great one

3 March 2018 9:00 am

‘What seas what shore what grey rocks what water lapping the bow’. So evocative, which seems strange: one would have…

I’m grateful for my grateful drinking friend

17 February 2018 9:00 am

The phone rang. ‘You are the last person in the world I should be talking to’, proclaimed an old friend…

Tasting the true island spirit: single malts from the Isle of Arran

3 February 2018 9:00 am

Arran, in the Firth of Clyde, is an island whose charms vary with the seasons. In summer, the hills are…

Is the great vintage of 2015 retreating into itself

20 January 2018 9:00 am

We were pondering the relationship between military history and wine vintages. It is extraordinary to think that the French managed…

How Christmas lunch became Christmas dinner

6 January 2018 9:00 am

It was a culinary triumph. My hosts do not spend much time in the UK, and are determined to entertain…

Found in a friend’s cellar — the wines of a lifetime

16 December 2017 9:00 am

In longevity, great wine can march with human life. Creating (better still, maintaining) a fine cellar really is a compact…

Glad tidings from a parish in Burgundy

2 December 2017 9:00 am

Advent: I am sure that all readers deplore the vulgarly commercial aspects of the pre-Christmas season as much as I…

Gender comes in fluid form

18 November 2017 9:00 am

I have lost faith in British boyhood. In mixed schools, young males have failed to seize an opportunity that previous…

We discussed wine, horses and painting at Franco’s in Jermyn Street

4 November 2017 9:00 am

An artist ought to draw on broad human sympathies and an intense commitment to his craft. In both respects, Charles…

A Dutch treat from Bordeaux

21 October 2017 9:00 am

In 1995, a young Dutchman completed an MBA. Banking beckoned. An internship was arranged. But Alexander van Beek thought that…

The pride of Australia

7 October 2017 9:00 am

When she graduated from university in Australia, Sarah Crowe decided to travel. So she sold her car, raised whatever other…

All’s fair in love, Waugh and wine

23 September 2017 9:00 am

I was reminded of Wild West films from boyhood. Then, the beleaguered garrison scanned the horizon; would the US cavalry…

Thank Evans for Quintessentially good wine

9 September 2017 9:00 am

There was an entirely forgotten leftist called Allen Ginsberg, a so-called beat poet (surely an oxymoron) who once produced a…

The countryside’s eternal youth

26 August 2017 9:00 am

I once witnessed a rarer spectacle than Halley’s Comet. I heard Ted Heath tell a funny story. It related to…

The king of clubs is a romantic at heart

12 August 2017 9:00 am

We were discussing romanticism, with me arguing that it should be confined to the boudoir, the bedroom, the library or…

My beef with David Cameron in the cat-house quarter of London

29 July 2017 9:00 am

Insufficient attention has been paid to the history of naughty girls, who deployed allure to prosper in a male-dominated world.…

Over serious claret, I mused on my dreams of a fat-busting pill

15 July 2017 9:00 am

As good conversation should, the talk meandered from the serious to the playful. One of the serious topics was overseas…

Let’s drink to Ruth Davidson and the new Scottish dawn

1 July 2017 9:00 am

‘Stands Scotland where it did?’ As the bottles circulated, we were able to answer Macduff’s question in much more optimistic…

The best way to celebrate the past? Uncork it

17 June 2017 9:00 am

I have been thinking about the Dark Ages. This has nothing to do with Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn. A…

The best way to view Jeremy Corbyn? Through rosé-tinted glasses

3 June 2017 9:00 am

It was a typical bank holiday. Usual English weather: glorious, until you leave home without a brolly. Then fickleness supervenes…

The 2016 Bordeaux vintage makes up for everything bad the French ever did

20 May 2017 9:00 am

‘That sweet enemy, France.’ It takes a poet to summarise centuries of military and diplomatic history. On a prosaic level,…