The Lost Whisky of Port Ellen

Ian Buxton, occasional drinks correspondent for The Dabbler and author of the superb 101 Whiskies to Try Before You Die, has another new book out, this time featuring the rarest and weirdest whiskies in the world. 101 Legendary Whiskies You're Dying to Try But (Possibly) Never Will is available ... Read More...

How I invented Ice Wine

Henry accidentally invents a new drink.. One of the drawbacks of having a wife who doesn’t drink very much is that it often means I drink more. Brought up by thrifty parents and taught at school to always finish what was on my plate, I hate to see things go to ... Read More...

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...