A drink from the 80s

I mixed myself several Harvey Wallbangers at the party last night. This is a drink that reminds me very much of the eighties. The original recipe calls for Galliano and normal vodka, but Galliano is a bit sweet. You can make a drier version like this: 4 shots freshly squeezed orange juice 2 shots vanilla […]

Hooray for Oxford!

Every year since 1953 Oxford and Cambridge universities have competed in a blind wine tasting competition. I was in the Oxford University team about a decade ago. We never lost. In this year’s competition I am very pleased to report that Oxford has won again. I say ‘again’ because Cambridge have only won nineteen times […]

Stay awake with a BM

I am off to a cocktail party later. My contribution will be a couple of litres of Bloody Mary. Bloody Marys are known as ‘BMs’ in this house hold. They are really good for breakfast or as as a pick-me-up, as long as you make them spicy enough. I don’t mix a terribly traditional BM, […]

Powerful elegance

A damned good bottle of Chablis, this. He machine harvests, so we are told. Chablis Grand Cru Grenouille 2002, Jean-Paul and Benoît Droin A very powerful, concentrated nose of flinty minerals and lemony fruit. It smells quite big. It is quite weighty on the palate too. Lots of concentration. There is great acidity running through […]

Five wines from around the web #3

Here are this month’s recommendations. Some real bargains; good wine does start at around a tenner a bottle (this is Elitist Review after all). Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru 2001, Domaine des Lambrays: Brilliant Burgundy, read the here. £47 (there is a case discount) from Berry Brothers and Rudd. Barolo Ceretta 1999, Ettore Germano: Really […]

The celebration continues

What is a celebration without excess? The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom, after all. A bottle of wine each seems easy going on such a happy night. Sancerre Rouge Belle Dame 2002, Domaine Vacheron This was a bit closed and responded very well to a vigorous shake in the decanter. After […]


A celebration

Today marks five years since my partner moved to England. If view of all of the wonderful times we have had together we decided to celebrate with something damned good. Champagne Cuvée Nicolas-François 1996, Billecart-Salmon A luxuriant nose of ripe red apple fruit with the merest hint of cold cocoa. This smells quite youthful and […]

Quite beautiful

I’m not feeling too happy today and wine is not a cheap substitute for happiness it is an expensive pre-requiste for happiness: I’ve opened another bottle. Volnay Premier Cru 2001, Domaine de Montille It is really very pale in colour. A bright nose of cherries and strawberries. This smells quite beautiful. The palate has really […]

My favourite Chianti

I don’t drink that much Chianti, indeed I can only really think of three producers whose wines I buy out of choice. This one is my favourite. What a name it has got, though. Berardenga Rancia Chianti Classico Riserva 1999, Felsina A soft nose of maturing red fruit. Still smells quite lively, though, and its […]

Fiery richness

I cooked a chili last night. This is a really simple thing to make, but it is a rich, satisfying meal. You can also cook enough so that there is some left for lunch the next day. Key ingredients in a nice, but I am sure completely non-traditional, chili are: Streaky bacon; quite a lot […]