Flat Pimms!At a recent reception, drinks were being passed around by cheery waiters wearing lurid shirts and burgundy waistcoats; it was a sunny day and I grabbed a Pimms. It was flat.

It’s difficult to find a good excuse for that. Despite all the various fruit and veg that’s shoved into a Pimms pitcher, the fundamental act of mixing two liquids isn’t even as tricky as tying shoelaces. Maybe the good people at Pimms should do what they did at Guinness, a while back, and educate people on how it’s prepared.

I left my flat Pimms on the side, as a lure for wasps, a task it performed wonderfully well.

I reached for a glass of red wine and after only a sniff, could feel an attack of heartburn coming on. I replaced it on the tray. If scant excuse can be found for serving flat Pimms what can be said for serving wine like that? It’s a form of torture really, tantalising guests with the promise of free alcohol and serving cheap sour wine. I grabbed a glass of white, expecting it to taste like battery acid.

It didn’t. It was lemony and full bodied, but wasn’t a chardonnay; it was herbaceous and zippy, but not a sauvignon. It was a verdelho from New South Wales and it was delicious. It’s a wine that will come to more prominence in coming years offering as it does something very familiar and yet different at the same time. It was like finding a diamond in a sack of coal and I was as surprised as I was delighted.

My parting words would be that if you are ever hosting a reception, please make the effort to find something drinkable. Although you might have to kiss a lot of frogs before finding a prince, it is possible to source decent wines at low prices. I can think of no situation where people are happy or impressed with sour piss – apart from a hideous law society cheese and wine party I went to in 1993. But more about that another time.

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COPOUT Book by Nick Breeze

Climate change podcast

Last week a picture was posted on Twitter of vines in Shabo, a large estate that lies to the west of Odesa on southern Ukraine’s Black Sea coastline. The image seemed benign at face value but the reality, of course, is that the city of Odesa has been bracing itself for attack by Russian forces. 


As COVID-19 conspires with the grimmest of winds and rain to force a societal retreat behind our own front doors, the word ennui springs to mind. The muddle of displeasure is pierced when Natalia hands me a large bulbous glass of a liquid I do not recognise.



Britain’s lamentable exit

On the eve of Britain’s official departure from the EU, my partner and I decided to explore a small town on the Italian Riviera where thewintry cold doesn’t feel so much like cold war bite.

I had warned my significant other that I would be having an inverse departure party, a release of the sanity valve if you like!


Sitting inside the ancient castle walls inside the town of Soave, a short drive from Verona in northern Italy, the unique slightly almond aroma of the indigenous grape, Garganega, rises gently from my glass. The castle sprawls up the side of an extinct volcano that gives the region its variant soil structures that mark out the better quality of Soave wines.


Tanisha Townsend decided to move to Paris 4 years ago after regularly passing through the city en route to the world’s most famous vineyards. In fact, it was about 2 years ago at the Printemps de Champagne Bouzy Rouge tasting in Reims that I saw (who we shall now refer to as) GirlMeetsGlass chirpily speaking to her web followers on Snapchat.


The cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, the final resting place of Saint James, rises out of the landscape, infested with antiquity. The rambling steep streets give way to shafts of dramatic light, emblazoned chapels, and tightly packed tapas bars, dusty, as old novels pressed together in antiquarian bookshops.


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