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…

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…

Spain vs Italy: who would win the wine Test?

11 September 2021 9:00 am

In London, the weather is a gentle sashaying mockery. An Indian summer reminds us of the sullen apology of summer…

In turbulent times, there’s sherry

28 August 2021 9:00 am

I sometimes wander through Trafalgar Square in the small hours when the traffic has abated and children are no longer…

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…

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…

A novel approach to New Zealand’s wine

22 May 2021 9:00 am

The last Saturday of lockdown — inshallah — and we were discussing literature. Specifically, when does a detective story become…

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…

Finally la Vendée has a winemaker worthy of its traditions

27 March 2021 9:00 am

A year of lockdowns has certainly passed slowly. But there are topics for thought. One disappointment has been the Church…

Nights – and wines – to remember in Paris

13 March 2021 9:00 am

Some friends claim to be making marks on the wall to count the days until liberation. Ah, the forgotten delights…

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…