Tonight—The Wine Show

The new season of The Wine Show starts this evening on Channel 5 at 7pm. And jolly good it is too. I know this because I’ve seen it. I also know this because Kay (the wife, and all-round top food writer) did the catering and dragged me along to help out. Which meant, among other things, rising at five to drive to the nearest industrial boulangerie for everyone’s breakfast and not driving into the villa’s formal fountain. Which also happened.

This season, Joe Fattorini does his level best to educate Matthew Goode and James Purefoy, and us too. And once you’ve seen him in action, you’ll understand exactly why he is the IWSC Wine Communicator Of The Year. Alas, you won’t get to see his marvellous collection of T-shirts with obscure movie references printed upon them, nor his collection of hats. But hey, you do get to see him in lederhosen, which is surely a win in anyone’s book.

Opinionated Drinking…

Opinions, as the cliché goes, are like arseholes: everybody has one. I like this cliché both for its essential truth (which all good clichés should have) and because, when deployed, in insinuates that the person it’s used about is in fact an arsehole.

As a recovering arse-o-holic, I shall endeavour to keep aresholery to a minimum. But there will be plenty of opinions in the coming posts. On all manner of topics. But mostly about drink. And some of them will be forthright.

Why?

Because, at the end of the day (and I mean that phrase literally as opposed to as some kind of space-filling verbal tick), a lot of us like a drink to wrap everything up. A little conviviality. A pint or a half. A cocktail. Some wine. And there is no earthly reason why that drink should be bad.

So this is a blog to big up the good, point out the bad, discover new stuff, praise some old stuff, flog the occasional dead horse, meet Maya the Dog’s favourite bartenders and generally talk booze-related bollocks.

In case you’re wondering why I should feel entitled to sound off on these topics I have, at one time or another, done the vendage at vineyards in South Oxfordshire, pulled pints, tended bar in hotels and at private parties, sold wine, consulted, drunk (and got drunk) on four continents and learnt the hard way that your liver won’t thank you if you go out on the piss with chefs.

Kicking off next week, we have an exciting new Mescal to discuss, we need to talk about Gordon’s, we also need to define what is and what is not a martini, and finally to list the Top 5 Worst Things I’ve Drunk Of All Time. And on Friday, perhaps I’ll answer any questions anyone may have. If you’re out there.