Wine

Dear Mary: how do you excuse yourself from a dull conversation?

20 May 2017 9:00 am

Q. My mother always told me that only boring people are bored. However she never got stuck at a drinks…

The charms of old Paris – and the naughtiest girl of the 20th century

25 March 2017 9:00 am

Paris used to be the most self-confident city in the world. Brash, assertive, boastful: Manhattan claimed to be the best.…

Beware the cult of ‘natural wine’

25 March 2017 9:00 am

Beware the cult of ‘natural wine’

Burgundies that taste of T.S. Eliot

11 March 2017 9:00 am

Eliot. After 50 years trying to make sense of his verse, and at the risk of admitting to rampant philistinism,…

From kittens to claret: an ideal education

25 February 2017 9:00 am

Call me a sentimental old whatever, but watching a four-year old hearing The Tale of Samuel Whiskers for the first…

There is a dangerous new snobbery – but it’s not from Remainers

7 January 2017 9:00 am

Yet another kind of snob Sir: May I offer another definition of a ‘snob’ to the one described by Bryan…

Should I hang myself out to dry again this January?

31 December 2016 9:00 am

And so it begins again. This time last year, I decided to see how long I could last without alcohol.…

Had someone deliberately messed up Lord Archer’s dinner?

31 December 2016 9:00 am

I first ate at the London version of Harry’s Bar in the early 1990s. Back then, Jeffrey Archer and I…

Want to understand Italy's economy? Look at its wines, not its GDP

10 December 2016 9:00 am

The other day, I had lunch with the grandest person I know. Forget 1066: Adrian Ziani de Ferranti can trace…

The Odd Bottles now have a paramilitary wing

3 December 2016 9:00 am

This is something to be said for starting to celebrate Christmas before the end of the grouse season. It provides…

What wine is worthy of white truffle? It took us a few tries to be sure

19 November 2016 9:00 am

A few days ago, on the Dorset/Somerset marches, autumn was still in orderly retreat. Although a pear tree’s leaves had…

Should Nato have embraced Russia?

5 November 2016 9:00 am

An aeon ago, when I was first invited to the odd City lunch, there was a standard formula: G&T, white,…

The Wine List: We name and shame the worst mark-ups in London restaurants

3 November 2016 9:00 am

The worst wine mark-ups in London named and shamed

Extra sparkle: the best stuff is saved for the Brits

The French say their best champagne goes to us Brits. It may even be true

22 October 2016 9:00 am

The British are notoriously cheap when it comes to wine; the average bottle price is around £6. On one wine,…

The sacred mission to stop real whisky becoming too popular

22 October 2016 9:00 am

A long-standing friend of mine is a lucky fellow. He has spent his career doing exactly what he was born…

With great wine comes great anxiety

8 October 2016 9:00 am

We were surpassing Sydney Smith. His idea of heaven was pâté de foie gras to the sound of trumpets. Our…

How to invest in wine? Buy some, drink some, sell some

1 October 2016 8:00 am

A beginner’s guide to enjoyable investment in wine

The no-nonsense greatness of Australian wine

24 September 2016 9:00 am

Any Australian who admits to not having convict ancestors loses caste. When granted a coat of arms, the smart ones…

What’s a travelling oenophile to do?

24 September 2016 9:00 am

Nothing beats drinking Château d’Yquem in a tropical paradise

Don’t fear to tread: vineyards in the Douro Valley

The delicious secrets of the Douro Valley

10 September 2016 9:00 am

They’re called quintas, Joana tells us, because the rich families who owned the land along this stretch of the Douro…

The first grouse of autumn, and a debate begins afresh

10 September 2016 9:00 am

The autumn bank holiday is like the five-minute bell at the opera. The shades of the prison house loom. All…

A toast to the glories of Provence

27 August 2016 9:00 am

Friends have a house in Provence, near the foot of Mont Ventoux. Even in a region so full of charm…

Alexander McCall Smith’s Bruce Anderson – and me

13 August 2016 9:00 am

Will Lyons, a delightful companion, is not only a friend of mine. He has one of the finest palates in…

Why it takes more thinking to be a Tory than a socialist

16 July 2016 9:00 am

John Stuart Mill did not describe the Conservatives as the stupid party. He merely said that although not all Tories…

Our lunch with Olivier Humbrecht

13 July 2016 11:40 am

We had a fine Spectator Winemaker Lunch with Olivier Humbrecht of leading Alsace producer Domaine Zind Humbrecht the other day.…