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...

Perfume And Wine

by Luca Turin
I fell in love with both perfume and Sauternes at roughly the same time, when I moved to the Côte d’Azur for work in 1982. As it happens, neither had...

The Whisper Of Umami

by Donald Edwards
I chip into the hard yellow wax over the cork and it shatters; a frustrating rain over my station. Domaine Raveneau’s 2008 Chablis Premier Cru Vaillons is initially tight, mineral...