Do wine writers need qualifications?

Do you really need a certificate to pontificate about wine?Henry Jeffreys gives his thoughts on booze blogging... A little while ago I was reading the comment section on a wine blog, in which someone had written in to voice his displeasure that people could start blogs and pronounce on wine without ... Read More...

Empire of Booze

Why did port and sherry conquer the world while equally good French equivalents remain local obscurities? Because the British Empire globalised booze, argues Henry in his forthcoming book... Perhaps my favourite part of France is the Roussillon, the area closest physically and culturally to Spain. My wife calls it Sprance. I ... Read More...

An unusually bad wine

Henry discovers a wine so unusually bad that he actually recommends you try it... Wine writers very rarely write about horrible wines. Their columns are full of exciting recommendations for readers to buy. There are two reasons for this. Firstly wine writers feel it is important to support wine as an ... Read More...

Marks & Spencer’s Celebrity Hell

Never mind the ad campaigns, M&S is still great for food and booze, says wine correspondent Henry... We should have guessed that Marks & Spencer was in trouble again from their recent advertising campaign. One can imagine desperate executives at head office shouting: ‘dammit John! We’ve got Mirren, Westwood and Twiggy, ... Read More...

Pidgin French

Henry passes on a useful tip for Anglophones trying to handle French wine terms... When I was taught French at school, we learnt it orally for the first year. I remember how shocked I was when I saw written French for the first time. It looked nothing like it sounded. The ... Read More...

The Good Non-Pub Guide

Henry wonders whether a 'Good Pub Guide' actually has any pubs in it... Due to the capricious workings of the UK Border Agency, we went on holiday to Norfolk last year rather than France as originally planned. One of the highlights of the trip was the pub next door to our ... Read More...

Whatever happened to Aussie plain-speaking?

Dabbler drinks correspondent Henry Jeffreys is disappointed to find that even the Australians have succumbed to wine marketing gibberish... Last year the BBC documentary Chateau Chunder charted the rise of the Australian wine in Britain, and what really shone out of it was the Australian genius for marketing and plain speaking. Now you probably ... Read More...