Drink

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…

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…

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…

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…

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.…

Letters: Just how should you pronounce vermouth?

30 November 2019 9:00 am

Down to zero Sir: Paul Collier’s siren call to take advantage of near-zero interest rates to go on a massive…

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…

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…

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…

A toast to the wisdom – and wit – of Norman Stone

6 July 2019 9:00 am

We were in a club, discussing Norman Stone, recently departed, over a meal that he would have enjoyed. Norman divided…

25 years off the booze has taught me three simple things

11 May 2019 9:00 am

Have you noticed how nearly everyone in the media has won an award? Is there even such a thing as…

Save us from fads and change for change’s sake

11 May 2019 9:00 am

There is no new thing under the sun. Over the weekend, I read a book which was alarmingly relevant to…

Is wine an art?

2 February 2019 9:00 am

Acouple of lawyers were disagreeing about a matter which could become increasingly relevant. Could a sitting president pardon himself? But…

Why our soldiers are more impressive than every other kind of leader

8 December 2018 9:00 am

One of the pleasures of journalism is the opportunity to meet eminent persons: bankers, businessmen, civil servants, diplomats, politicians, vignerons.…

Stockbridge, Hampshire: an unexpected gastronomical haven

29 September 2018 9:00 am

‘The doors clap to, the pane is blind with showers / Pass me the bottle, old lad, there’s an end of summer.’…

Rob Auton (Chris) in Frank Skinner’s Nina’s Got News

Is Frank Skinner the new Alan Bennett? Edinburgh Fringe round-up

25 August 2018 9:00 am

For recovering teetotallers, like me, Thinking Drinkers is the perfect Edinburgh show. On stage, two sprucely dressed actors perform sketches…