Drink

Vega Sicilia: the best Spanish wine I have ever tasted

23 October 2021 9:00 am

Four hundred and fifty years ago this month, a great victory helped to safeguard European civilisation. The battle of Lepanto…

What are the Queen’s favourite tipples?

23 October 2021 9:00 am

Drinks at the palace The Queen was reported to have given up regular drinking. What do we know about her…

Is this Greece’s finest wine since Homer strummed his lyre?

9 October 2021 9:00 am

We were in deepest Dorset, l’Angleterre profonde. The weather was also typically English: inundations followed by counter-attacks from the Indian…

The wonder of Lebanese wine

25 September 2021 9:00 am

In the Levant, the grape has been cultivated for millennia, some of it used for wine. The hills of Lebanon…

The wine that made me change my mind about Valpolicella

14 August 2021 9:00 am

There was a marvellous general of yesteryear called George Burns. He had a good war and a splendid peace. He…

The beauty of wine from the Rhine

31 July 2021 9:00 am

In an apparently benign — almost prelapsarian — setting, the Rhine is an epitome of the human condition. Scenery is…

The wine that made me change my mind about rosé

17 July 2021 9:00 am

Some time ago, I wrote that rosé should only be drunk south of Lyon, but one could start on the…

An unrewarding slog: Thomas Vinterberg's Another Round reviewed

3 July 2021 9:00 am

Thomas Vinterberg’s Another Round has been heaped with awards: an Oscar, a Bafta, it swept the European Film Awards. And…

A new take on New Zealand wine

3 July 2021 9:00 am

‘The doors clap to, the pane is bright with showers.’ With ‘summer’ determined to do its worst, there is one…

How to drink in the delights of France (without leaving the country)

19 June 2021 9:00 am

It is hard to decide which is more depressing, the extension of the lockdown or the public support for this…

The wine that links Thomas Jefferson, Charles II and Samuel Pepys

5 June 2021 9:00 am

It seemed a suitable topic for a bank holiday. We were discussing Haut-Brion, a bank-breaking wine. There is a question…

My post-lockdown resolution: drink more Alsace

8 May 2021 9:00 am

Freedom approaches. Should we be humming ‘Va, Pensiero’ or ‘O Welche Lust’ — perhaps both. Thinking of Fidelioreminds me of…

Wine by the jug in Venetian Venice

24 April 2021 9:00 am

We were discussing travel, that forbidden delight now tantalisingly close. Where would be our first destination? Forswearing originality, I chose…

Drowning the sorrows of Scotland’s virulent nationalism

10 April 2021 9:00 am

There is a more depressing subject than the lockdown. The evening began with a bottle of 18-year-old Glenmorangie. It was…

I’ve swapped booze for Pot Noodles

3 April 2021 9:00 am

Along with many other people, I gave up drinking for the month of January and then resumed with gusto on…

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…

Abstinence makes the heart grow fonder

13 February 2021 9:00 am

The wine has been flowing in the Young household this week. The reason I’ve been celebrating is because I managed…

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.…

Food to absorb alcohol: Christmas hampers reviewed

19 December 2020 9:00 am

There is straw inside the Fortnum & Mason Christmas Treat Hamper (£100). As the straw drifts through the house, it…

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…

Wishful drinking: pubs have always been good at bending the rules

14 November 2020 9:00 am

Pubs have always been good at bending the rules

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…