Drink

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…

The Spanish winemakers with a missionary zeal

7 March 2020 9:00 am

It is time to begin with an apology, and hope. In the course of these columns, I have already admitted…

Which water goes best with whisky?

21 February 2020 10:00 pm

Peaty water ought to be classed as a luxury. You have spent a day on the hill, a’chasing the deer.…

How gin escaped from Gin Lane

7 February 2020 10:00 pm

In the mid-18th century, London was awash with gin. Socially-conscious members of the bourgeoisie believed that this was the root…

A toast to Roger Scruton

24 January 2020 10:00 pm

In clubs and other admirable locations throughout the civilised world, glasses have been raised and toasts proposed. But this was…

My recipe to cure a hangover

11 January 2020 9:00 am

Journalists exaggerate, often reaching for superlatives to chronicle mildly interesting events. Even so, there are times when it is necessary…

Christmas without God in the Appalachians

21 December 2019 9:00 am

Christmas: without being grand and Proustian, this is a season when time present inevitably takes one back to time past.…

Politics of a certain vintage – and wine to match

7 December 2019 9:00 am

I wonder how they do things now at Tory headquarters. For the ’79 election, the preparations had been completed weeks…

Wine that puts politics in its place

23 November 2019 9:00 am

In the era of vinyl, lost in one of Bruckner’s longueurs, it could be hard to tell what was stuck,…

The delights of Spanish wine – and art

9 November 2019 9:00 am

First, an apology. In my last column, I appeared to be saying that good champagne does not age. This must…

The finest champagnes do not age

26 October 2019 9:00 am

The other night, I dreamt about Brexit. Awakening to the oppression of an urgent task, it took me a few…

A vintage tale of Thatcher, Reagan and some truly great wines

12 October 2019 9:00 am

Poor Old Girl. The final act may not have been sanglante, but as the third volume of Charles Moore’s life…

There is always time for a bottle of Champagne

28 September 2019 9:00 am

My friend Dominic decided that it was time to convoke a lunch. There were matters to discuss, including that perennial…

Claret, dogs and nothing to grouse about

14 September 2019 9:00 am

What do you get if you cross a dyslexic, an insomniac and an agnostic? Someone who wakes up at 4…

Reasons to be cheerful: gardens, Ben Stokes and cold wine

31 August 2019 9:00 am

‘The Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day.’ Is there a more charming passage in…

Like Team Boris, I’m staying in London this summer

17 August 2019 9:00 am

Foolish me. I could have been writing this by the shore of Lake Trasimene, with only one problem: how to…

A wine of Boris’s vintage

3 August 2019 9:00 am

My host twinkled sardonically. ‘We’re bound to be discussing Boris. So what’s the right wine?’ I suggested a bunker-busting Australian…