Monday, 19 September 2016
Very soon you will be holding a finished copy of Empire of Booze - we're just waiting for the special editions to arrive in the warehouse and then they will start to be dispatched. I hope you are pleased with the result. I particularly like the gold spine which you can only see when you remove the dust jacket. That's proper craftsmanship that is.
I hope too that you are pleased with the contents…
Last chance to get your name in the book
Monday, 23 May 2016
Just a very quick post to say that the book is in the vital stages of copy-editing. All the commas should be in the right place and hopefully all my jokes will make sense. The closing time to order an advance copy with your name in the back is midnight on Thursday 2nd June. If you have a friend who likes reading and booze then please do give them a nudge about the book.
Everyone who has already…
We have a jacket
Monday, 8 February 2016
I just wanted to share the jacket of Empire of Booze with you. I am sure you wil agree that it looks marvelous. It was designed by Sroop Sunar who has designed covers for Salman Rushdie and Rudyard Kipling so a massive honour to have someone so prestigious. It's nothing how I pictured it and all the better for that. I like that she has caught the fun of the book and emphasised the…
News from Empire of Booze
Wednesday, 15 April 2015
I thought I should give you a little update on how the book is going. I've written most of it. Some days I think I've written 3/4, on not so good days I think I've written half. I've done most of the research (see photo below) and I just need to take gruelling trips to Elgin, Oporto, Jerez and Bordeaux to finish the research. I'm off to Scotland on Friday and will report back with…
Christmas wine recommendations
Tuesday, 18 November 2014
What I like to drink at Christmas is burgundy, burgundy and more burgundy followed by a little port with my stilton. Good burgundy costs money which I don't have so I'm always on the look out for burgundy substitutes. I've discovered two such wines this year and at the moment they're on offer at Tesco.
Here they are:
Mount Pleasant Elizabeth Semillon 2005 - Hunter valley semillon is a classic…
What will Scottish independence mean for drinkers?
Tuesday, 16 September 2014
Every month or so the marketing bumf from Majestic Wine Warehouses comes through my door outlining their latest offers. It's normally bargain rioja. If you read the small print carefully you'll find that their glorious multibuy offers aren't available in Scotland:
"The Alcohol Scotland Act 2010 disallows any alcohol promotion offering customers a discount for buying multiple products in Scottish…
Strenuous research trips and a book update
Monday, 18 August 2014
Recently I've be getting lots of email which can be paraphrased as 'where's my bloody book?' Whenever I see friends, relatives, colleagues and acquaintances, they always ask 'when am I getting my book?' So I thought it would be a good idea to give you an update.
Firstly thank you everyone for pledging. It was wonderful that the book was funded so quickly. It shows that there's an interest in the…
New Spectator article on drinking with my dear old Dad
Monday, 31 March 2014
Here's something I wrote recently for the Spectator. Be warned, it contains references to my misspent youth:
Many men really can only communicate through sport. It provides a ritualised way to argue, to become passionate and to bond without having to talk about awkward things such as feelings. This is never truer than of father-and-son relationships. But my father and I never had this common ground…
The decline of Wine Book Publishing
Thursday, 20 March 2014
I have a bit of thing about old wine books. I can’t resist picking them up no matter how rubbish they might look. My latest acquisition from Oxfam is called Supernosh by Anthony Worrall-Thompson and Malcolm Gluck. It features the authors on the front cover resplendent in brash 80s clothing (though it was published in 1993 – the 80s carried on well into the 90s in some parts of the wine trade) both…
Bluffer's Guide interview
Monday, 10 March 2014
I did this slightly odd interview with Bluffer's Guides. I couldn't think of proper answers to most of the questions so I just made something up.
Also for some reason they have described me a celebrity. Hurrah! You will soon see photos of me falling out of nightclubs with thingy from One Direction.
Link to interview here.
Keith Waterhouse and the joys of lunch
Friday, 7 March 2014
If any man deserved the epithet, a legend in his own lunchtime, it was Keith Waterhouse. You probably remember him for his playsBilly Liar, made into a film with Julie Christie and Tom Courtenay, and Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell but his lunching exploits are equally worth celebrating. His work day consisted of rising at 6am, reading all the papers, writing his Daily Mail column followed by lunch that…
Winter Drinking from the Spectator
Wednesday, 5 March 2014
Hello and welcome.
I'm going to be adding articles to the Shed so that you can get a flavour of my writing. Here's something that appeared in the Spectator recently on Winter Drinking:
I’ve just received my latest energy bill and it appears that I’ve been living this last year in a draughty manor house rather than a three–bedroom ex-council flat. This winter, I’m going to have to choose between…