“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”

How to easily recognise culture


We love France, the French people, the towns and villages, their wine, and ……… their enduring and delightful ways of maintaining and demonstrating their culture. Festivals that celebrate obscure events like the grapes first turning red, the escargot, the moule, and so on. But there is a sure fire way to see how much they … Continue reading How to easily recognise culture

Imaginative Ancestry #5: A PEST in Cobbett’s England!


Imaginative ancestry means creating a picture in your mind’s eye of the conditions in which your ancestors, or a particular group of them, lived. But you won’t create this picture by looking at birth certificates, probate documents, old photographs, newspaper clippings; you need to get in amongst the historical context of the decade, century, era … Continue reading Imaginative Ancestry #5: A PEST in Cobbett’s England!

Medieval Marketing, Holy Blood, and the first Brexit!


Henry VIII got a bad press for his regular wife exchange and destruction of the monasteries, but he was on a more significant mission of systematically dismantling an autocratic rule from Europe and removing the scam of holy relics being used to con a gullible public into parting with their cash! A TV programme and a visit to Hailes Abbey brings it all to life.

Does a wine have a “sense of place”?


I recently had a minor spat on Twitter about the utter pretentiousness of some professional wine writers who use outrageous phrases in relation to wine tasting. The one that really riled me up was “this wine definitely has a sense of place”! Now, you might say that I’m splitting hairs here, but is a wine … Continue reading Does a wine have a “sense of place”?