Daunted by the predatory approaches of sneering French sommeliers bent on exposing your ignorance? Well, fear no more: it's time to conquer your terror by embracing ‘terroir’...
“It is generally agreed that wine should be drunk from a glass, although for the desperate, any watertight receptacle will do.”
“Even if you find the peculiar salty tang of dry fino Sherry an acquired taste, you must at least pretend you have acquired it if you wish to appear sophisticated.”
“A wine deemed overly alcoholic is described as ‘hot’ which, uniquely in wine circles, is not a compliment.”
Jonathan Goodall landed his first writing job in his early 20s, editing ‘The Potato Page’ at The Fresh Produce Journal. He learnt quickly how to identify a ‘hot-potato’ story, a skill he successfully transferred to Wine & Spirit International then Decanter wine magazine, which he joined as editor. Never afraid of hands-on research, he has since written about all facets of booze for, among others, The Daily Telegraph, The Times, The Spectator and Saga Magazine. He has also written books, too humorous to mention, about beer and cocktails.
Harry Eyres was introduced to serious wine appreciation at the age of eight. With the wine running in his blood in both senses (his father was a wine merchant), he twice managed to carry off the coveted individual prize in the Oxford v Cambridge Tasting Match (the bibber’s Boat race). He has been wine columnist for The Spectator and Harpers & Queen, theatre critic for The Times and is currently a columnist for The Financial Times. When not seriously appreciating wine, he returns to Spain to anaesthetise his palate with Fundador brandy in the bars of old Barcelona.
Learn how to read a label, how to handle a glass like a pro, and what to conclude from a wine’s colour. And always bear in mind that, despite its mystique, wine is simply fermented grape juice.