How do you feel when the waiter hands you a wine list in a restaurant? A rush of joy? Or like most people, like you’ve been handed your friend’s troublesome baby to look after for the duration of the meal? For most it can feel like a responsibility they don’t want or need.
The news this week that we can expect a world wine drought on the back of 2012’s inclement weather would have obviously brought an initial feeling of dismay to many who like a glass or two of good plonk.
It seems like half of the breweries in Britain have produced a new beer for the occasion – or, at the very least, re-badged an old one in order to capture some of the Jubilee frenzy. Nor can those in charge claim to have been taken by surprise by the volume of celebratory brews: it’s an old tradition. British brewers have been marking big Royal occasions with special beers for many generations.
Stereotypes die hard. ‘The Very Hungry Frenchman’, the BBC’s current television series following chef Raymond Blanc as he scoffs his way around his native land, demonstrates just how committed the British are to thinking of France in a certain way: good food, joie de vivre, Citroen 2CVs. This is the land where everyone appreciates a [...]
There are few concepts quite as French as that of terroir. This idea – which, to put it as simply as humanly possible, suggests wine has a unique character dictated by the spot in which the grapes were grown – is both fanciful and beguiling, and thus deadly when it enters the head of the [...]
Britain’s “Special Relationship” with the US may exist largely in the minds of our politicians, but in the world of beer it’s as real as taxes. Consider the evidence. They took our classic beer styles – pale ale, porter, stout, India Pale Ale – and sent them back to us, with extra hops added. British [...]
Garrett Oliver, editor of the recently-released Oxford Companion to Beer, has been here, there and, indeed, everywhere in the past few weeks promoting the book. Today’s Independent carries a profile of him but the limitations of print meant there was plenty of interesting stuff that got left out – so it has [...]
It’s a dispiriting experience familiar to anyone who has ever asked for beer in one of London’s many high-end restaurants. The wine list requires its own trolley and a pair of wheezing waiters to heave it around, but the beers available can be reeled off in two seconds by a curled-lipped sommelier. On offer are [...]
Everything you need to know about Bristol Beer Factory can be found on the wall of the brewer’s office. Where more inspiration-challenged workplaces might have a ‘You don’t have to be mad to work here…” poster, there’s a large sheet of paper with a list on it. ‘Crazy ideas for 2012′, it says at the [...]
Heavy metal band AC/DC have turned fromthe Highway to Hell to the vineyard endorsing their own
wine to go on sale in Australia. But the rockers’ collection isn’t the only celebrity tipple to make it on
to the supermarket shelves.
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