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 9:00 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

5 October 2017 2:00 pm

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 and Waugh

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 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 romantic king of clubs

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

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.…

I nourish my dream of a fat 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…

A toast to 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…

Uncorking the past

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…

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…

French fancies

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,…