A Sensorial Symphony

by Susan Lin MW
Vibrant. Rich. Exciting. Layered. Powerful. Complex. These words describe the third movement of Johannes Brahms’ Violin Concerto in D Major. They also describe a vintage Champagne of excellent quality. In...

Sommeliers In Body Armour

by Sergey Panov
Each of them had other plans for this summer. Back in February, Anastasia didn’t think she’d be saving other people’s lives on a battlefield. Anatoly didn’t imagine he’d voluntarily swap...

A Dachshund’s Ear

by Margaret Rand
My school coat was made of Harris Tweed. This is not relevant to anything, except that the other day I came across a wine with Harris Tweed tannins. They were...

Back In Barnes

by Harry Eyres
“That little country wine we found in the backwoods of [fill in the blank with a region of France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Croatia, Bulgaria not especially renowned for quality...

Offensively Inoffensive

by Andy Neather
It was an easy target. A recent Twitter flurry over the by-the-glass wine list at Gordon Ramsay’s Michelin-starred London restaurant Pétrus focused on the punchy prices. And it’s true: charging...

The Myth Of Aristocracy

by Harry Eyres
I have not yet been to the cinema to see the latest despatch from that castellated stately home where half the inhabitants speak in a strange strangulated drawl and wear...

New Wine In Old Bottles

by Andy Neather
I should have expected it in a temple of Tuscan kitsch: Chianti in fiasco, the bulbous bottles wrapped in straw that were a symbol of Italian eateries in 1970s Britain....

Something Beyond Ourselves

by Harry Eyres
As I write we’re experiencing again what the Belfast-born poet Louis MacNeice recorded in Autumn Journal, composed in 1938: “the heavy panic that cramps the lungs and presses/ The collar...

Cutting Through The Babble

by Margaret Rand
It struck me, watching Katya Kabanova at Glyndebourne this last summer, that opera has terroir. It also has directors, who fulfil the same role as winemakers, either expressing the terroir...

Challenging The Old Order

by Tim Atkin
Are some Olympic sports more serious than others? To listen to purists, harrumphing about the inclusion of skateboarding, surfing and BMX freestyle in the Tokyo games, you’d conclude that there’s...