One of the many entrances to The Turf Tavern

The Turf – one of Oxford’s finer features

I’ll admit to having gone off Oxford a shade since I spent many years there being refulgently brilliant, but this does not account for the revulsion I felt when getting off the train. Sadly, every route into the city of dreaming spires is a tiresome slog through dismal neighbourhoods filled with vile architecture; the view […]

A brilliant array of pleasure-giving food

Food – the universal pleasure

Regular readers may be surprised by this title – I normally opine on the pleasures of wine. However, the depths of my vinous obsession are not widely shared whereas food is a basic biological necessity that, for those not afflicted with weirdly twisted convictions, can provide an inestimable range and depth of gratifying experiences. Pleasure, […]

Unearthed Nduja is filth!

Unendurably atrocious Nduja

I want to warn you about an unutterably odious food travesty I have been unfortunate enough to experience. The Nduja sold by the company Unearthed is a phenomenally wretched, deplorable and generally half-arsed facsimile of the real product. Indeed, so repulsive is it that I fear it will not only menace but actually exterminate any […]

Douglas' tasty coq au vin

Another helping of my step-father’s coq

We are in the country for a family meal and I am pleased to report this means another helping of my . He surpassed himself today with a real quality portions of bird skilfully marinated, plenty of mushrooms and shallots and some top flight bacon all assembled synergistically to create a whole that easily outclassed […]

Fleurie Clos de la Roilette 2010, Coudert Pere et Fils

By arse, it has structure!

The first time I tried Clos de la Roilette I was given it blind with a few years age on it and, as a blind tasting deity I am slightly embarrassed to admit this, I thought it was rather good Cote-Rotie. It is quite definitely my favourite Beaujolais and usually does surprise me with its […]

Chambolle Musigny Les Veroilles 2002, Domaine Bruno Clair

Oddly prickly Chambolle

Sometimes in the past I have found Domaine Bruno Clair wines to have a suggestion of dirtiness about them. I think this has only happened with about five wines out of the fifty-odd I’ve tried so even though the worry tweaks my sensitive parts I still feel safe enough buying from him. I thought a […]

Pinot Noir 'Rachel' 2008, Seresin is merely drinkable yet over-priced

The staggeringly lacklustre and pitifully acceptable

Sometimes you fancy something different, happens to us all, and so you shop outside your normal parameters. Of course, this is a path fraught with danger and the peril of heinous suffering. We all do it anyway. The Albarino was the only white wine, beyond Sherry, I have found I could reliably manage to tolerate […]

David at the Pitt Cue Co (a big picture of me is always good for the ego)

Fill your face with barbecue brilliance

Meat. Let us face it: if, when your thoughts turn to that most basic and enjoyable of corporeal requirements, eating, meat does not enter your thoughts in some major way you probably have some serious problems and need re-evaluate your life in a fundamental manner. The joys of eating meat are without number, and it […]


Vapid-personality Riesling

I’ll come clean, when I find that a Riesling has low alcohol and is bottled with a bit of residual sugar I am a real sucker for it. I buy a bottle enthusiastically and hope it’ll deliver even a small fraction of the thrilling, nervy tension of wines made in the home of this style, […]

Some of the wines we sampled

An evening’s drinking rarely leaves me this impressed

Once again it was our pleasure to host Peter Sidebotham (of Hand-Picked Burgundy) and Peter Palmer (the Black Sea wanderer) at Elitistreview Towers. We drank quite mind-bogglingly well, but I was a tad dejected that three weeks off the sauce whilst in hospital has done my historically epic tolerance no favours at all. I was […]