Aesthetics ….. It’s not about the wine!


Any visit to a vineyard or winery should focus on a LOT more than sniffing, slurping and buying a few bottles! I'm well known for my oft repeated phrase “it's not about the wine”, a phrase I borrowed and changed from the disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong …. “It's not about the bike”. In his autobiography … Continue reading Aesthetics ….. It’s not about the wine!

Wine, Chateaux, History and Philosophy all in one place.


Chinon in the Val de Loire, France is the place we came closest to buying a house in France three years ago. Burgundy may be our favourite wine region, mostly being based on our love of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay as well as having several winemaker friends there. But the area around Chinon has a … Continue reading Wine, Chateaux, History and Philosophy all in one place.

How a bawdy philosopher made a monkey of “authority”!


“Monk, doctor, writer, botanist, and translator, Rabelais was one of the most enlightened minds of the Renaissance. Behind the comic, laughter-inducing exterior of his work lie some very important issues; war, education, religion, marriage, and the question of the Other. He was a humanist, his writing full of the new ideas both he and Erasmus … Continue reading How a bawdy philosopher made a monkey of “authority”!

“I Drink Therefore I Am”


What's the connection between Francis Bacon, Roger Scruton, Dr B’s PhD, and a glass of Cabernet Franc in a wine bar called Cave Voltaire in Chinon, the home town of Rabelais? This is going to be one hell of a post if I can convince you of the connection. Sitting here today in the Cave … Continue reading “I Drink Therefore I Am”

A Brexiteer Bastille Day


Wandering around Chinon yesterday, July 14th, a day when French people celebrate their freedom from oppression, I captured this photo of Geoff, a bar owner in the town centre reading The Brexiteer newspaper. I asked him what he most liked about it and he said "it's free for democrats..... so that means non-democrats must pay!" … Continue reading A Brexiteer Bastille Day