It feels like I've achieved a feat of Herculean proportions: 122 days of a total self-imposed booze ban, nothing, nada, zilch, not a sip – even negotaited a couple of tastings with genuine, never-before-seen 100per cent spitting (even the good stuff, even the expensive kit), out it goes, sluicing into the spittoon. This was new territory, this was some serious strength of will, this was frightening.
Code Quarterly, Spring 2019Read the article
"...They have a few drinks and probably the prawn sandwiches, and they don't realise what's going on out on the pitch." – Roy Keane
What happened to football? The first drink I had at a match as an eight-year-old in the 1980s was a scalding hot Bovril in a flimsy plastic cup, so hot to the hand it needed to be balanced on the seat in front of me: half-time, Dad nips off, comes back with beef stock. This was the routine.
Tottenham Hotspur. This is my club, my one and only club, to quote Bill Nicholson, the legendary former Spurs manager. So, what’s my club now saying on the drinks front?
Noble Rot, Issue 19, March 2019Read the article
“Can I offer you something while we talk? You wanna beer or something? Wine?”
We’re backstage at the 02 Centre in Greenwich, two hours before showtime: 17.30. Dave Mustaine walks back from the fridge with a Heineken – I asked for a beer.
Megadeth wasn’t a thing for me until recently, until last year, a bewildering and unexpected flashbang: I’ve become a fan, and dammit I’m going to trawl through all the albums over thirty-five years and get a real handle on the band, ranking the albums in order of favourites – a protean list that shifts with repeated listens. From the opening frantic jagged riffs of Holy Wars…The Punishment Due (Rust In Peace, 1990, fourth album), I was hooked. Urgent, visceral, crowd-moshing thrash metal: a new obsession, a compulsion.
Noble Rot, Issue 18, November 2018Read the article
"You have the best job in the world, you really do...”
So the refrain goes, a bit of admiration laced with a dash of jealousy and a smattering of “Oh FFS, all you guys do is drink for free all day, you massive old soaks.”
Sure, I used to enjoy them, revel in them: back when gin and tonics were still fizzy and vegans didn’t exist – glory days.
Then something started to happen, a stealth attack, a creeping feeling...
Noble Rot, Issue 17Read the article
The rise of the English sparkling wine industry has seen its bottles move from “plucky outsider” status to champagne-beating cellar essentials, claiming a record number of international trophies along the way. England is fizzing, and the world is taking notice.
Christie's International Real Estate magazineRead the article
"What on earth is wrong with you?” The question comes out of nowhere, a sly uppercut into the soft underbelly of my fragile (often) sense of worth. “I mean, seriously. What is your problem? What?”
On the ropes by this point, I come out swinging: a wounded tiger, an annoyed, wounded tiger. "Look, if I want to drink Grosset’s ‘Polish Hill’ Riesling with special chow mein, then I will. Alright?”
Noble Rot, Issue 16Read the article
"See how its strength bursts to the top of the glass...the difference is almost frightening." – These are the mellifluous tones of suave British actor William Franklyn, on a voiceover for a 1970s Schweppes commercial, as a wrecking ball keeps smashing into the house he's walking through. You can hear the tonic in his glass fizzing amongst the crashing.
CODE Quarterly, Issue 11, Summer 2017Read the article
The 'oldest' of the New World countries to begin making wine, South Africa's grape adventure began long before the world started taking note.
Christie's International Real EstateRead the article
A wine region and grape can be on the top table for years and then suddenly fall from grace. Wine writer Zeren Wilson charts the rise, fall… and rise again of the likes of Chardonnay and Merlot to find out why our tastes change.
HiscoxRead the article
Everyone knows the wines of Napa and Sonoma, but some of California’s lesser-known wine regions are producing vintages that are equally appealing...
"A meal without wine is unthinkable for some. Being in a restaurant sober and not witnessing the cut and thrust of the dining room; missing that moment when the volume seems to ‘pop’, usually around 9pm, would make me consider why I was there at all...
Zeren Wilson ponders the often-snubbed ‘house wine’ and assures us that frugal drinking in London is better than it has been before.
“Monsieur, with this House Ferrero Rocher Wine, you are really spoiling us...”. Or something like that...
“Here’s our menu, let me know if you have any questions...” The phrase that launched a thousand meals. You read, you choose, you ask, they bring: no titillation here, nothing to see, please move along. You’re a menu fetishist? You sick bastard...
Thai cuisine is on the verge of a re-appraisal in the UK, with new restaurants cooking regional dishes that really highlight the depth and diversity of the food. Zeren Wilson reports
Caterer & Hotelkeeper,
Having fallen from grace, Lambrusco is now making a comeback in its traditional form as a deep, dry,
sparkling wine from Emilia Romagna. Zeren Wilson hails the return of this once–derided drop.
The wines of Napa Valley and Sonoma County are back in the frame, their characteristic exuberance tempered with the restraint that first wowed the world in 1976. Zeren Wilson, reports