Drink

Memories of Stellenbosch and South Africa’s finest wines

27 February 2021 9:00 am

Lockdown provides time to think, and to reminisce. A South African friend, trapped in Amsterdam, phoned the other day. Had…

My palate and the plague

13 February 2021 9:00 am

Later this week, on Spectator.co.uk, I will resolve a mystery that has featured in a lot of Zoom traffic around…

How Argentina conquered Malbec

30 January 2021 9:00 am

When Napoleon III proclaimed himself Emperor of France in 1852, he unwittingly kickstarted quality wine production in Chile and Argentina.…

Lockdown means it’s time to drink your most prized bottles of wine

16 January 2021 9:00 am

Losing your sense of smell due to Covid is no joke when you make a living in food and wine.…

The beauty and tragedy of Lebanon

19 December 2020 9:00 am

I was thinking about tragedy. Could one use the term ‘chronically tragic’? My first instinct is against. Tragedy is the…

Why you can’t trust supermarket cheese

12 December 2020 9:00 am

We were celebrating the end of lockdown by talking about war and deer stalking — over a business lunch, naturally.…

Lockdown might bring the Dickensian Christmas back into fashion

28 November 2020 9:00 am

I feel like a prisoner, making daily marks on the cell wall to chart the approach of freedom. But will…

Drinking to the glories of Burns and follies of Boris

14 November 2020 9:00 am

At least in London, midwinter spring has not been entirely vanquished, and the trees are still a couple of strong…

A toast to Tim Beardson

31 October 2020 9:00 am

I am in an Eliot mood, not a Keatsian one. ‘Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’ is a surprisingly… mellow…

Perry Worsthorne: a man incapable of dullness

17 October 2020 9:00 am

I had known Perry Worsthorne for several years before I went to work for him in 1986 (horrifying how time…

The finest Rioja in all of Spain

3 October 2020 9:00 am

It had been a long and no doubt fractious sea voyage. The crew would have signed up for a variety…

With good wine, it’s all in the timing

19 September 2020 9:00 am

Three bottles, three questions that delivered three different answers. I was in Dorset — cannot keep away — enjoying the…

A perfect luncheon wine

5 September 2020 9:00 am

I suspect, though this may be romanticising, that if a French lorry driver with hitherto suppressed culinary tastes won France’s…

Soave, an original sin-free wine

22 August 2020 9:00 am

‘The Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day’: surely one of the most beautiful images…

The difference between American and French wine-drinkers

8 August 2020 9:00 am

Is it safe to visit the continent? On the one hand, abroad is likely to be less crowded this August…

The hunt for a Test-class claret

25 July 2020 9:00 am

In one respect, there has been a reassertion of normality, though this is nothing to do with the virus. Although…

The best wine since incarceration

11 July 2020 9:00 am

The woodpecker jinked across the lawn like an especially cunning partridge. Its goal was a skilfully constructed bird table with…

Two bottles to help eradicate cabin fever

27 June 2020 9:00 am

The virus is in retreat, the lock-down is crumbling, the sherbet dispensaries will shortly reopen and there is a second…

Recollections of Burgundy

13 June 2020 9:00 am

More than two months: who would have thought it possible? Before the great closure, I had been trying to decide…

Bitter memories: my craving for a pint

30 May 2020 9:00 am

It is enough to drive a man to drink. The most glorious weather, so suitable for white Burgundy on a…

The best New Zealand wine I’ve come across

16 May 2020 9:00 am

I was once invited to the Cheltenham races and found the experience underwhelming. Everything was too respectable: not nearly Hibernian…

Clarets to see in the summer

2 May 2020 9:00 am

This April was indeed the cruellest month, at least for those of us banged up in cities. From the country…

I’m drinking half as much as usual – with no ill-effects

18 April 2020 9:00 am

I cannot remember a prettier Easter, or a more frustrating one. This was no time to be in town. But…

Drinking in isolation is far less appealing

4 April 2020 9:00 am

Spring sense, caressing sunshine: last week, London enjoyed village cricket weather. Even in normal circumstances, the season would not have…

If we can’t go to the Veneto, we’ll drink to it

21 March 2020 9:00 am

We live in a world where yesterday’s inconceivable becomes today’s commonplace, but even so. I never thought that the day…