Drink

Debunking the Greek wine myth

25 May 2019 9:00 am

A book, a bottle, a bower set in an ancient garden: you think that if you walked round the right…

Save us from fads and change for change’s sake

11 May 2019 9:00 am

There is no new thing under the sun. Over the weekend, I read a book which was alarmingly relevant to…

Finding hope in poetry, politics – and white Burgundy

27 April 2019 9:00 am

During the Middle Ages, some of the monastic halls which evolved into Oxbridge colleges allowed their younger inmates to indulge…

Durdle Door, Dorset (istockphoto.com)

Independence for Dorset? I’ll raise a glass to that

13 April 2019 9:00 am

There was a shrewd old Tory MP called John Stokes. He was not on the left of the party. Indeed,…

Three Tories gather for a convivial, and consolatory, glass of wine

30 March 2019 9:00 am

Three tribal Tories had gathered for a convivial glass, and also a consolatory one. One quoted Huskisson’s verdict after Goderich’s…

Red meat and red wine: the ideal way to spend the first Sunday of Lent

14 March 2019 9:00 am

Life is far too important to be taken seriously. At least, that was the conclusion which we meandered towards as…

Twenty years on, the Walbrook is still an enchantment

2 March 2019 9:00 am

Early last century, an impoverished youth emerged from the East End. Able and hard-working, he discovered — as many had…

Only the south offers beer lovers a decent pint

16 February 2019 9:00 am

We were discussing beer. It is a cheerful subject so I made an appropriate point. In recent years, the quality…

Is wine an art?

2 February 2019 9:00 am

Acouple of lawyers were disagreeing about a matter which could become increasingly relevant. Could a sitting president pardon himself? But…

Forget Dry January – if there was ever a month to drink, this is it

19 January 2019 9:00 am

January really is the cruellest month. No wonder some fortunate friends have dodged the column of dreary weather and short…

Barolo, the only comfort in a world full of chaos

5 January 2019 9:00 am

It appeared to be an uneven contest. A few friends were meeting for a festive wine-tasting, to compare and contrast…

In the midst of Brexit agony, one thing remains certain: disputation needs drink

15 December 2018 9:00 am

It is enough to drive a fellow to the bottle. I am not given to agnosticism. My view is that…

Why our soldiers are more impressive than every other kind of leader

8 December 2018 9:00 am

One of the pleasures of journalism is the opportunity to meet eminent persons: bankers, businessmen, civil servants, diplomats, politicians, vignerons.…

The paradox of Burgundy

24 November 2018 9:00 am

I was trying to remember what I once knew about the theology of the Reformation and especially the various factions’…

How violence in France led to the creation of London’s Courtauld Gallery

10 November 2018 9:00 am

Darkness, but not the blanket of the dark. This was a sinister darkness, beset by smoke and flames, by the…

Searching for God in the twilight on the Aegean Sea

27 October 2018 9:00 am

My friend Jonathan Gaisman recently gave rise to a profound philosophical question concerning wine. Jonathan is formidably clever. He has…

Disloyal toast: this is the worst cabinet vintage ever

13 October 2018 9:00 am

Drink and democracy have one important point in common: an ambivalent relationship with discord. They can mitigate it. They can…

Stockbridge, Hampshire: an unexpected gastronomical haven

29 September 2018 9:00 am

‘The doors clap to, the pane is blind with showers / Pass me the bottle, old lad, there’s an end of summer.’…

My host’s reciprocity was almost embarrassingly generous

15 September 2018 9:00 am

Peace came dropping slow. I have never regarded west Flanders as part of la France profonde, but here we were,…

The great Seven Stars – but not, alas, its furry bar staff – is immune to change

1 September 2018 9:00 am

Roy Hattersley once wrote a plangent passage about a painful aspect of the human condition: the short span of animals’…

Wine, women and willow: a perfect combo for a perfect English summer day

18 August 2018 9:00 am

The first time I went to Lord’s was in 1970, just before the unofficial Test series which replaced the cancelled…

The pleasures of mindful drinking

4 August 2018 9:00 am

When I was at school, some time before the last ice age, the final day of term was a quasi-holiday.…

Tradition and terroir: the new reign in Spain is producing great results

21 July 2018 9:00 am

The Kingdom of Spain always sends outstanding ambassadors to the Court of St James, none more so than the appropriately…

London’s perfect Paris brasserie

7 July 2018 9:00 am

We order some French things better in London — often, admittedly, with French help. A grenouille friend recently took me…

Weak but stable, Theresa May is the opposite of a good claret

23 June 2018 9:00 am

It is enough to make a man turn to drink. On a distinctly non-abstemious day, I was sitting in one…